Charlton set to invest in future with signing of Walton

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The Independent Online

Charlton Athletic are poised to sign Leeds United's teenage midfielder Simon Walton. Walton looks set to move to The Valley by the end of the week after beginning discussions on a long-term deal. Leeds' manager, Kevin Blackwell, said: "They're a Premiership club and it's potentially a great opportunity for him. We won't stand in his way."

As Walton is only 18, and has come through the academy system at Elland Road, Leeds should receive compensation in the region of £500,000. Walton is seen as one for the future by the new Charlton manager , Iain Dowie, even though he appeared to lose his way at Leeds last season.

As a 16-year-old Walton was handed his debut in Blackwell's first match in charge at the start of the 2004-05 season and went on to make 33 appearances over the campaign. Despite such promise, Walton made just five appearances last term, but now his career is on the brink of an about-turn with the prospect of playing in the Premiership.

Meanwhile, Blackwell has admitted his "delight" after making Brighton's winger Seb Carole his first summer signing. The 23-year-old joins the club on a free transfer after activating a release clause in his contract following the Seagulls' relegation last season.

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