It all started so well for Joe Dodoo at Charlton Athletic. It took just 22 minutes for the striker to open his account for The Addicks, scoring in a 4-3 win over Oldham Athletic on his debut last month.
Since then, however, the one-time Leicester City prospect has simply not hit the heights expected when he moved to The Valley on a season-long loan from Rangers. Dodoo has still not started a game for Charlton and, in the last four league fixtures, has not even made it off the substitute’s bench.
Despite drawing with Oxford United on Tuesday, Charlton boss Karl Robinson opted against bringing the fast-footed Dodoo on in the final few minutes – which has raised questions about whether he has already fallen out of his manager’s plans.
Robinson, however, has attempted to play down his ongoing omission of a striker who also failed to make much of an impression at Rangers after moving on a free from Leicester in 2016.
“Why don't you ask about Joe Aribo, Ezri Konsa or Dillon Phillips? There are other players who didn't come on as well,” Robinson told NewsShopper after Charlton’s 1-1 draw at the Kassam Stadium.
“It’s hard because you ask and I have to give you an honest answer. Just because I don't put someone on, it doesn't mean I don't like them. When I give people an honest answer, it reflects badly on the individual.
“Joe’s worked really hard, we had a meeting before the Oxford game, went through all his clips at Gillingham. We’ll sit down and watch his clips again - it’s about learning.”
What Dodoo is learning, however, is that he must find a way to maintain a fast start. The 22-year-old famously scored a hat-trick on his Leicester debut against Bury in the EFL Cup but failed to make an impact thereafter.
The same thing happened at Rangers after Dodoo scored two in his first three games.