Darren Randolph has left Charlton after agreeing a three-year contract with Motherwell, news which came as quite a shock to me as I thought he was one of our few out-of-contract players who actually had a future at The Valley.
It is always disappointing to lose a player of promise but with Rob Elliot set to be our number one custodian next term, Darren is a player we can probably afford to part with.
Having two excellent (relatively) goalkeepers is a bonus but The Addicks need to get their entire squad in shape before they can deal in luxury. If Randy's exit allows us to draft in a decent young stopper/experienced campaigner on minimal wages, while also helping us pay the salary of that elusive 20-goal striker or rock-solid centre-half, it's one I can deal with.
I wish Darren well at 'Well because he did play an important role for us last season. His performance against Northwich Victoria in that ill-fated FA Cup tie prevented the non-league outfit from beating us at an absolute canter, and when he re-entered the first-team fray towards the end of the year following an injury to Elliot, he made some tremendous saves.
A last-minute stop at home to Leeds left us dreaming that - for a short time at least - we could clutch that final automatic promotion place, while the catalogue of efforts he blocked in the away leg of our play-off semi-final with Swindon kept us in the tie before we returned to The Valley for match two. Alright, we lost in the end, but without Dazza's intervention our demise could have come a whole lot sooner.
Whether you have a slight preference for Elliot between the sticks, or reckon Randolph should be our undisputed number one, there is not a lot to choose between them. (For the record, though, I think Darren is a slightly superior shot-stopper, but Rob is a more complete and authoritative 'keeper.)
In the end, one of them was always destined for a transfer. I'm not devastated it's Randolph who's gone, just a little bit sad.