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Ben Amos: The forgotten man

Whilst the drama of Bolton’s relegation battle played out, Amos has been quietly rebuilding his career with Charlton.

Northampton Town v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League One Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Three years ago, it stated so, so promisingly. Brought in as a winter transfer window loan from Man United on 30 January 2015, Amos’s brief was simply to provide cover for Andy Lonergan, whilst Ádám Bogdán was out injured. Within three weeks, Amos got his chance, coming on to replace an injured Loners, during a heavy 4-1 defeat away to Forest. Boy did he take it, with the youngsters performances effectively making him first choice goalie for the remainder of that season.

Summer came and first choice keeper, Bogdán, left on a free to Liverpool. Lennon wanted Amos, recently released by United, as a replacement. Lennon got his wish and Amos signed a four year contract.

What we didn’t realise at that time, was that Amos was the last throw of the dice from a board who’s spending excesses had got out of control and who were shortly about to run out of money. They were in no position to offer Amos that four year deal but did anyway.

As we all know, the 15/16 season from hell followed, with a suddenly myopic Amos playing a star role in a team of shocking performers.

The following summer, with the need to cut costs uppermost in the new regimes minds, high earning Amos was farmed out to Cardiff on a seasons loan. While Bolton’s other failures rescued their careers in a successful League One promotion campaign, Amos’s troubles continued. Warnock came in as the new Cardiff manager, gave Amos his chance, didn’t like the cut of his jib and banished him to the reserves. Amos now had two catastrophic seasons on his CV.

Just to get at least some of the Amos wages off the clubs books, Bolton sent Amos off to Charlton on a seasons loan. For Amos, as for his Bolton teammates the previous season, it was a chance to rebuild a badly damaged career in League One.

Starting the 17/18 season as first choice, Amos has been ever present for Charlton, so far making 46 league and 2 cup appearances totalling 4320 minutes played, in a team that has made a late push to get into the playoffs via sixth place.

Charltons now sacked manager, Karl Robinson, told the South London Press last October “We just wish we had him permanently.

“We always knew he hadn’t played for a while and it would take two or three weeks for him to get up and running.

“He’s a beast. Listen, he’s going to drop crosses - I’m asking him to come for everything. But if he can’t catch it he punches it. If he misses it he makes sure the striker doesn’t get it, and he makes great saves.”

Amos won the PFA League One player of the month award that October (conceding just the one goal in 360 minutes of football during the month, as Charlton drew one and won three of the four games). Amos has recently been nominated again for the April award and ‘was in superb form during the campaign’s penultimate month, making some huge saves that helped the Addicks secure a play-off place’ as reported by the club site.

Amos also finished fourth in the Charlton supporters’ Player of the Year vote for 2017/18.

Addicks fan Marcus Hoare, @MarcusHoare1 on Twitter, stated “Ben started off really shaky to be honest and most fans questioned the signing, however since Bowyer came in he has been absolutely superb and the key reason why we have got to the Playoffs.”

For the “future , I’d like to think we’d sign him if we get promoted,however wages will be a big stumbling block, as I understand he’s on fairly big wages.”

As Bolton’s last contracted high earner come the 1st July, we know that Ken will sell if a suitable offer comes in. But what if one doesn’t? Amos has had a successful spell in the Championship, albeit briefly. Just like Madine, he’s restored his confidence and form in League One after a disaster in the Championship. Like Madine, can Amos bounce back and be a big success in the Championship, if given another chance? With Alnwick likely to be offered and accept a renewed contract, is Amos the man to challenge him for the first team shirt?

I think so, but what do you think? Let me know below the line.