Bikey back in England with Charlton

Last updated : 09 July 2014 By Tony Scholes

Bikey departed these shores a year ago when he was released by Middlesbrough, and was still without a club when the transfer window closed last September. However, a couple of weeks later he joined Greek club Panetolikos on a one year contract.

There was reference on the message board last week that he was training with Charlton and he's obviously done enough to impress new boss Bob Peeters with the South London based Belgian club giving him a two year contract.

He played his first game for Charlton against Sint-Truiden in the Philips Stayen Cup in Belgium and turned in an impressive performance.

Peeters said: "He made a good impression with us in Belgium. He's got experience of this league and we're happy to sign him. It's important for people like Joe Gomez and Harry Lennon to be working with someone with his experience, they can learn from him. His knowledge of the Championship will be very important."

It's almost five years since Bikey arrived at Burnley on a three year deal just in time to make his debut in our first home Premier League game against Manchester United. He impressed in what was his first game since being sent off for Reading at Burnley in the previous season's play-off semi-final.

He was quickly shunted into midfield by Owen Coyle and he had a somewhat chequered three years with us. He played 28 of our 38 Premier League games and added 28 Football League appearances in the following season.

He lost his place when Stuart Gray took over as caretaker boss and he was never a favourite of Eddie Howe who, after a shocker of a performance in the FA Cup at Norwich, banished him from the first team squad before releasing him at the end of his contract.

He had a year at Middlesbrough, followed by last season in Greece but is now back in the Championship to add the much needed experience to the defence at the Valley.