Fans have been left stunned as Ebbsfleet United manage to pull off an impressive bargain signing in an ex-Charlton player.
After leaving the Addicks upon the expiry of his contract earlier this year, defender Chris Solly has found himself a new club in a National League South side, a fair few tiers below League One.
Charlton finished 22nd and relegated in the Championship table for the 2019/20 season after winning promotion back to the second tier for the first time since 2015–16 campaign.
Solly was in action for Charlton at the Kuflink Stadium last pre-season, now he’s been snapped up by Dennis Kutrieb, appointed in June 2020 having declined to renew his contract at Tennis Borussia Berlin despite being on top of the table when the season was cancelled.
300+ games and 11 years in the EFL and last season he was in the Championship with Charlton, now after training with the Fleet and registered to play for us, we welcome Chris Solly! #No24 #eufchttps://t.co/J4u5dlTznZ pic.twitter.com/weiDl5j1wP
— Ebbsfleet United FC (@EUFCofficial) December 11, 2020
Ed Miller of ebbsfleetunited.co.uk wrote: Ebbsfleet United are delighted to announce that former Charlton Athletic full-back Chris Solly has been registered with the club to play in the Vanarama National League South.
The hugely experienced 29-year-old began training with the club this week to retain fitness as he looks to transfer window opportunities in the New Year.
Solly, who was born and lives locally in North Kent, played more than 300 times for Charlton since making his debut in the Championship at the end of the 2008/09 season.
He became increasingly influential in the Charlton side and aged 20 was voted Supporters Player of the Year and named as Young Player of the Year in 2011/12 after making 44 league appearances. And he followed up the following season with a second successive Player of the Year Award.
The 2011/12 campaign coincided with Charlton’s promotion from League One and Solly was a regular for the Addicks at right-back across the next four seasons in the Championship. He earned a second promotion with the club in 2018/19, featuring once again at Championship level last season to complete 11 years in a Charlton shirt.
Free-agent Solly departed The Valley in the summer on the expiry of his contract and until such time as an opportunity arises when the transfer window reopens, he is available for selection by Dennis Kutrieb. He has been allocated the Number 24 shirt in the Fleet squad.
Prior to his time in Charlton’s first-team, Solly spent two years as an England youth international, making 15 appearances for the national side.
Manager Dennis Kutrieb said of Chris’ arrival: “We are really pleased to have Chris train with us and register to play. During this difficult summer market for so many players and clubs, we have had many approaches from players who wish to train and keep fit but we are a tight group and to bring in players on these terms, they need to be the right character and right example.”
Kutrieb continued: “Chris has been absolutely professional in his approach and honesty, he is a quality footballer from higher up the pyramid and we respect his willingness to be fit and ready should his next opportunity present itself. His commitment to Ebbsfleet United to be available and assist when needed is a great example for any player.”
Speaking on joining the club, Chris Solly said: “I was delighted to be asked to come down and am enjoying every minute of it. It’s a great group around the club and the way we are treated, the facilities and professionalism is of the standard of a Championship club.”
“The quality of the lads is very good,” he continued. “There are players here who have played at a higher level or will go on to play at a higher level, and I’ve no reason to doubt even from these first five days of training that the boys will be right up there vying for promotion this season.”
Already having made a big impact in training, the club welcomes the experience he will bring in his time with us and we wish Chris all the best on his stay with the Fleet.
Fans stunned as Ebbsfleet pull off impressive bargain signing in ex-Charlton player Chris Solly…
@PatBuckingham: What a signing that is!
@BenCAFC_: Good luck @cjsolly. Wish him nothing but the best even if his departure from #cafc left a sour taste.
@AFCCHARLTON2: Best of luck Chris, even though it ended on a sour note his service to #cafc was excellent.
@lhmchale1: Chris Solly was superb for Charlton for many years. Glad he’s found a club. Best of luck Chris #cafc
@cafctom1987: Good luck to Chris Solly. In years time come I do hope many will look back and realise that he played a major part for Charlton over a very long period of time, regardless of how it ended.
@Buzzzaaa: What a signing for the fleet
Rubbish, never let us down. Always gave his all. Made the decision for personal reasons. Wasn’t going to play anyway.
— Rheas (@smit112) December 11, 2020
Wow!! Fantastic signing for The Fleet
As a Charlton fan, great player
— Julie Lockwood (@MrsBigDL) December 11, 2020
Great signing pic.twitter.com/rJi9tLabuz
— Obes (@ian_obee) December 11, 2020
All the best Chris.
Thanks for the 11 years you give us down the Valley
— Chris (@Chris37624363) December 11, 2020
— Graham Major (@YV_Graham) December 11, 2020
You’ve got yourselves a quality player there. Good luck @cjsolly
— Valley Floyd Road (@SnodlandAddick) December 11, 2020