It was no shock to see Boro’ make an early move in the 2023 January transfer window; Jake Forster-Caskey first through the door. What was perhaps a shock, however, was the fact we managed to bring the midfielder in on an actual, permanent transfer. At the time, Forster-Caskey’s Charlton Athletic teammate Alex Gilbey was with us too. Having said that, Gilbey was a loan deal. When reports first broke that JFC could be joining him, it felt like another temporary arrangement was most likely too. Instead, we made him ours and persuaded the Addicks to let him go.
It’s fair to say the midfielder comes with some Football League pedigree too. And that was ideal for a Boro’ side in pursuit of promotion. With a relatively small squad to work with, boss Steve Evans made no secret of his hunger to bring in additional recruits; lads who could come in and go straight into the first team. While Foster-Caskey hadn’t seen a huge amount of action at The Valley during the 2022-3 campaign, the expectation was that he was still the type of quality player who could make an impact at the right end of the fourth tier. Time will, of course, tell on that.
Jake Forster-Caskey: Before Boro’
A native of Southend, the midfielder’s career actually started on the Sussex – not Essex – coast. Brighton & Hove Albion was his first club; starting out with the Seagulls as a youth player in 2007. Three years later, he penned the scholarship deal that would move his career up a gear. Lo and behold, the next day saw him named as an unused substitute for the first team. As a bairn, however, game time was restricted while at Brighton. So, it’s no wonder a flurry of loan deals saw him gain experience elsewhere.
First came Oxford United, before Forster-Caskey had two loan spells at MK Dons. Rotherham United became the third, and final, club to provide a short-term home for the midfielder while he was still with the Seagulls. That was something that came to an end in January 2017 though; the player snapped up by Charlton Athletic on a two-and-a-half year deal. A serious injury kept him out for much of the 2018-9 campaign – but it didn’t prove enough to stop him earning a new deal with the Addicks in summer 2019.