Charlie Barker signs first pro deal until 2023

Academy graduate Charlie Barker has signed his first professional contract with the club, committing his future to the Addicks until at least 2023.

The 17-year-old defender burst onto the first-team scene at the start of the season, impressing with his performances which has seen him start all seven of Charlton’s matches so far this term in all competitions.

“It’s been an exciting start to the season and it’s all come at once, I’m just happy to stay here for a long time now,” said Barker.

“I hope to progress and help move the club forward.

“I never thought this would come so early on, but I’m so grateful it has. It’s unbelievable that the manager has had so much trust in me. I feel like I’ve given him everything and I’m happy that he trusts me.”

"It's good news," added Addicks boss Lee Bowyer.

"Charlie has got a chance out of nowhere for us playing in the first team and has done very well. For someone who is only 17, he's grabbed it brilliantly and he hasn't let himself or us down. He deserves his rewards."

Meanwhile, Academy Manager Steve Avory was pleased to see another graduate be rewarded.

:I’m delighted that we’ve got another scholar who has turned professional," he said.

"In particularl I’m so pleased we’ve secured a player like Charlie Barker for longer term, it gives us time to continue developing Charlie, so I’m delighted we’ve secured his future with us.

"He is learning every single game and every single day playing and training. He’s one of those individuals that knuckles down, thinks about how and where he has to do better, as well as asking people how he can be better. I know he feels the senior players around him at the club, the likes of Jason Pearce and Deji Oshilaja have been a great in terms of helping him adapt to a new environment."

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