Tariqe Fosu on making the most of his football friendship group

George Jones reports

Tariqe Fosu won’t feel like a pupil on his first day at a new school when Charlton’s players report back for pre-season training on Monday morning.

The 21-year-old already knows a couple of his new teammates, while he also completed his medical alongside fellow new signing Mark Marshall last week.

The attacker - who can play off a central striker as well as out wide - is a confident and polite lad and asked questions about the club when he was shown around pitchside by the media team.

He’d done some prior research too, tapping into his one-time Charlton connections and now colleagues.

“I know Joe Aribo and Karlan,” said Streatham-raised Fosu. “They have said a lot of positive things about the club to me. They’ve said that this is an amazing place to play and they also spoke to me about the Manager.

“They said he is a great person for a young player to play for.”

Fosu was also friends with Callum Harriott prior to the latter’s move to Madejski Stadium last summer and, having done the opposite to the former Addicks academy graduate in swapping Berkshire for south-east London, he is looking forward to getting started in SE7.

The new signing sat down with Karl Robinson at Sparrows Lane on Thursday afternoon where the boss laid out exactly how he saw Fosu fitting into his plans.

He said: “I heard at the end of last season that Charlton might be interested in me. The gaffer is a really good manager who has worked with a lot of young players before, and when I heard he was interested in me that was massive. It made my decision an easy one.

“When we met, he spoke about how he’d seen me play. He said that he wants to help my game, make me stronger; quicker. I want to produce for him so that we can push for promotion.”

Having progressed through the ranks at Reading, Fosu was handed his senior Royals debut against Derby County on the final day of the 2014/15 season.

Fearless and determined, Fosu’s direct running and close-control dribbling caused regular panic in the Rams’ back-line. Reading would record an impressive 3-0 victory, knocking Derby out of the play-off places, and his impressive cameo saw him earn loan chances at Fleetwood Town and Accrington Stanley the following season.

Last term, he headed to Colchester United and ended the campaign with three goals in his final two appearances as the U’s came within a whisker of finishing in the top seven.

Now he wants to translate the skills he has honed in Berkshire, and out on loan, onto The Valley pitch.

“I like to excite the supporters,” he smiled. “I’m tricky, quite quick, can play off the left or behind the front man.

“Last year at Colchester was really good. I learned a lot. There were loads of ups and downs and it has made me stronger as a player. I’ve matured as a player, I would say, and now I am ready to start at Charlton.”

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