Released Bournemouth defender Chris Francis has been on trial with Charlton Athletic this weekend, as reported by Richard Cawley of The South London Press.
The centre-back was released by the Cherries, who survived in the top flight last season and will play in the Premier League again next season. As is usually the case at the end of each season, clubs announce the players they will be retaining and offering new contracts to, as well as the players that will be moving on from the club unfortunately for Francis, he was on the list of people who will be without a club this summer.
Francis is now looking for a new club, with it being the 1st of July, his contract with Bournemouth came to an end yesterday. And it appears League One side Charlton Athletic, as he has reportedly been on trial with the Addicks this weekend, taking part in one of their pre-season friendly fixtures. The defender played the first half of their friendly with Welling United, with the club 3-0 up at the half-time break.
The defender started his career with Swindon Town at the age of 18 before he signed for non-league outfit North Leigh, following his release from the League Two club. After 30 appearances for North Leigh, he was picked up by the Premier League side Bournemouth and did not feature for the Cherries, he was loaned out to National League South side Weymouth in January, making five appearances for the club.
Charlton Athletic announced four players in May that would depart the club at the end of their contracts, with Charlie Barker, Dylan Gavin, Harris O’Connor and Sam Oguntayo all leaving South London as free agents. The club are currently preparing for the new season amidst takeover talks that have been ongoing for some time, but there has been no update on that situation in recent weeks. The Addicks were also dealt a blow in their pre-season friendly with Welling, as forward Miles Leaburn, who has been the subject of transfer talk amongst a number of Premier League clubs including Aston Villa, was forced off with an ankle injury in their 4-0 victory.
Francis is a young player with many years ahead of him, he is still just 21 years old so he could progress in his career still. He is yet to make a senior appearance for a club at a professional level above the National League South and League One could be the place to do it. However, with the possibility of Charlton pushing for a promotion spot next season, it may be that he is limited in regards to first-team appearances or could even potentially go out on loan to a side in the National League if he is to join the South London club.