Author Topic: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016  (Read 2323 times)

Offline Friendsoffulham

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Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« on: January 20, 2016, 09:22:47 AM »
Middlesbrough prepare fresh offer for Fulham striker Ross McCormack

MIDDLESBROUGH are weighing up a fresh bid for Ross McCormack this week after having an initial offer knocked back for the Fulham striker.



As revealed in The Northern Echo earlier this month, McCormack has been identified as Aitor Karanka’s top transfer target this month and there have been top level discussions between Craven Cottage and Riverside Stadium officials.

An initial offer is understood to have been knocked back recently, but Boro are contemplating a further offer of in the region of £8m.


Fulham are in no mood to sell McCormack, who has been on Boro's radar for a number of years, even though a sale would help them at a time when they are under a strict transfer embargo.

But the Cottagers, who have recently appointed Slavisa Jokanovic as their head coach, feel cashing in would only harm them because they could not go and reinvest the money in the squad.

Boro have shown in previous pursuits of McCormack and Blackburn’s Jordan Rhodes that they will not pay over the odds to get a deal done – and that is likely to be the case once more.

Further discussions with Fulham are expected as Boro try to give McCormack the opportunity to head to Teesside to give Karanka’s squad a massive push in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Highly-rated former Championship boss former Ian Holloway, a pundit for Sky Sports, feels Boro could start to plan for the Premier League if they could strike a deal for the Scotland striker.

Holloway said: “I’m sure Karanka is aware of not upsetting the squad too much by bringing people in, but if they signed someone like Ross McCormack then promotion would be all but guaranteed. He would lift that squad and could play anywhere in that frontline.”

McCormack has scored 15 goals this season, in a Fulham side unable to break into the top half of the Championship.

Karanka has already brought in striker Kike Sola from Athletic Bilbao and he is on the verge of landing Benfica centre-back Victor Lindelof.

The 21-year-old, who featured for Sweden in the Euro Under-21s Championships last summer, is due in the North-East to finalise a loan move until the end of the season with a view to a permanent switch in the summer.


Lindelof can play in midfield and provide cover in defence, where Boro hope Ben Gibson will recover from a muscle problem ahead of Saturday’s visit of Nottingham Forest to the Riverside.

Gibson has missed the last two games but it is thought he was rested more as a precautionary measure. Karanka does not want to take an unnecessary risk on a player who has become a key part of the side’s success in the last two seasons.

Boro, meanwhile, could find themselves stuck in a dispute between controversial Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino and the Football League next month.

Sky Sports are attempting to rearrange Boro’s trip to Elland Road on Saturday, February 13 to Monday, February 15. Cellino is understood to be weighing up his options.

Leeds’ Italian owner has been in dispute with the Football League and it came to a head in the build up to Derby County’s rearranged fixture in late December.

He threatened to lock Sky out because of the disruption Leeds have faced this season, having had the date/time of 11 games changed for broadcast. Cellino is of the belief that Leeds suffer a financial loss from televised matches at Elland Road due to reduced income commercially.

In the end he backed down at the last minute by allowing the Derby match to be televised, having been warned by the Football League that Leeds would face a charge of misconduct if Sky were not allowed in.

But now, with Sky seeking to switch the visit of Middlesbrough next month, there could be a further battle between the Football League and Leeds which would determine whether or not the TV trucks will be allowed inside Elland Road for the visit of Karanka’s team.

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Boro are not commenting on the situation because Sky are awaiting a decision from police before confirming the latest date change, but Cellino is stunned that the League is even contemplating a further adjustment for Leeds.

He was quoted saying: “Ask the Leeds United fans what they think. It’s up to the Football league. I’m still trying to understand it and I’m a little confused.”

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/football/middlesbrough/14213560.Middlesbrough_prepare_fresh_offer_for_Fulham_striker_Ross_McCormack/?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2016, 09:26:32 AM »
Former Fulham man Charles Banya making a big impression at Maidstone United

Charles Banya is proving it’s about who you know in football.



The former Fulham youngster got his foot in the door at Maidstone with help from right-back Callum Driver, who recommended him to boss Jay Saunders.

After a handful of substitute appearances, Banya has had a big impact in three starts on the left wing.

Maidstone United wideman Charles Banya Picture: Martin Apps
Saunders said: “I’m not a big lover of trialists in mid-season but you look at his background, see he’s been on the bench in the Premiership and you think ‘OK, let’s have a look’.

“He’s been great since he came in. I said to be patient, he never moaned, and since he’s started he’s looked sharp.

“What pleased me at Bath last Saturday was to see him back defending, winning headers at the far post.

“He worked hard coming back - not all wingers want to do that - and he’s got such quick feet going forward.

“His pace worries defenders and when he gets one-on-one not a lot of people will stop him.

“He feels his best position is behind the striker but I feel he offers us a lot out wide.”

http://www.kentonline.co.uk/maidstone/sport/ex-fulham-man-starring-for-stones-59442/?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2016, 09:29:21 AM »
Fulham must keep Ross McCormack out of Middlesbrough's clutches, says Whites centre-back

Fresh reports emerge of Boro plotting an £8million bid for Whites striker
    


Dan Burn thinks it is imperative that Fulham hold onto Ross McCormack after reports this morning claimed Middlesbrough could revive their interest in the striker.

McCormack has been on fire for the Whites this season and notched his 17th goal of the season to earn his side a point at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Fulham are under a transfer embargo but they are still permitted to sell players during the January transfer window.

However, the Cottagers do not want to lose the Scottish striker this month as no suitable replacement could be brought in under the conditions of the ban.

The Northern Echo claims that has not put off Aitor Karanka’s Boro, who have reportedly seen one bid knocked back for the forward, and they are now weighing up an £8million offer.

Read more: How much would Fulham suffer if Moussa Dembele and Ross McCormack were to leave in January?
Pondering a bid? Aitor Karanka
Big centre-half Burn is also desperate for Fulham to fend off interest for the forward after witnessing McCormack blossom up front in west London.

“I think it is massive for us to keep him,” Burn told the club’s website. “The stuff Ross does for us is crucial. He scores lots of goals which is really important and what gets noticed.

“But it is the stuff he does that you don’t see which is even more important. He links up play and pushes us forward. Even the work off the ball is crucial.

“I’m not surprised he is linked with other clubs and I think it’s important that we keep hold of him.”

Middlesbrough boss Karanka has already brought in striker Kike Sola from Athletic Bilbao this month and he is on the verge of landing Benfica defender Victor Lindelof.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/transfer-news/fulham-must-keep-ross-mccormack-10755522?


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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2016, 09:31:21 AM »
Fulham want to sign loanee - but you’ll never guess which position

Here's one out of left field for Whites fans - with reports suggesting the club needs a FOURTH keeper
   


Of all the positions Fulham are rumoured to be looking for fresh faces - keeper might be last.

But Anders Lindegaard’s name has been linked with the Whites, who already have in-form Andy Lonergan between the sticks, Joe Lewis on the bench, and Marcus Bettinelli recovering long-term from knee damage.


Lindegaard joined West Brom from Manchester United for a free transfer in the summer of 2015, but found first-team opportunities limited.

The 31-year-old Dane has struggled for playing time with the Baggies, with Tony Pulis preferring to use Ben Foster and Boaz Myhill.

If there is any truth to the rumour, he will find Lonergan in top form too, even though the former Bolton gloveman was bought initially as competition for Bettinelli.

Lonergan rescued a point for the West London side at the weekend after pulling off a double save in the final moments of their 1-1 draw with Huddersfield at the weekend - as well as a string of fine performances before that.

Whites manager Slavisa Jokanovic has steadfastly maintained he needs a loan striker with the club embargoed on transfers, as well as the chance Moussa Dembele and Ross McCormack might leave during the transfer window.

http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/fulham-want-sign-loanee-youll-10755845?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2016, 09:32:36 AM »
Football To Amsterdam

It’s your last chance to sign up and represent the Whites in the biggest party in football.



That’s right, Jamie Vardy’s not the only one having a party this season. Join us and The Football League’s Official Charity Partner, Prostate Cancer UK, alongside former England internationals Terry Butcher and Viv Anderson on a once in a lifetime pedal-powered pilgrimage to Amsterdam climaxing in a truly unforgettable night out in Dam Square.

You and your mates can join the Whites today for Football to Amsterdam 2016, a two-day cycle challenge where you can raise cash to beat prostate cancer.

There’s going to be windmills, there’s going to be Dutch beer, and there’s going to be a big celebration in de Dam. All you need to do is swap your football boots for a cycling jersey and pedal 145 miles to get there… easy right?

Last year the ride sold out and places are going fast. Don’t miss out: Book your place today.

Men United’s star signing, Terry Butcher, donned his Ipswich cycling jersey last year and enjoyed it so much he’s coming back for round two:

“It was harder than marking Maradona, I told reporters at the time. It was tough. 145 miles. But with over 250 riders from across the football world the camaraderie was amazing and my quads have finally recovered enough for me to look forward to doing it all again.” – Terry Butcher, Men United.

The 2016 dates are 3-5 June, and there’ll be two start points – one from Barnsley FC, crossing the North Sea via Hull, and the other from the Olympic Park in London catching the Harwich ferry. Once we make it to the other side, we’ll all converge in Amsterdam on the Saturday night for a big party.
Sign up now
Registration fee is £149. Each rider will pledge to raise a minimum of £1,000 in sponsorship to help fight back against a disease that affects one in eight men in the UK.

You can also check out last year’s ride here and find out where your club is on the 2016 leader board. If you have any questions you can email our friends at Prostate Cancer UK or give them a call on 020 3310 7034.

http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2016/january/19/football-to-amsterdam?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2016, 09:37:12 AM »
West Brom keeper Anders Lindegaard could be set for a loan exit in January as Championship side Fulham are reportedly keen.



The Cottagers are currently under a transfer embargo but they can sign players on loan and it has been claimed by The Times they are weighing up a move for Lindegaard.

Lindegaard only moved to the Hawthorns in the summer as a free agent after his deal with Manchester United came to an end but he has found himself behind Boaz Myhill and Ben Foster in the pecking order.

The 31-year-old Dane has managed just one appearance so far this season, in a Capital One Cup loss to Norwich, and as such is open to an exit, while boss Tony Pulis is prepared to let the shot-stopper depart.

Fulham appear well staffed themselves in the goalkeeping department with former Bolton and Leeds man Andy Lonergan and Joe Lewis as options, although fellow keeper Marcus Bettinelli is currently sidelined with a knee problem, but nevertheless they have been credited with an interest in Lindegaard.

Read more at: https://www.clubcall.com/west-bromwich-albion/albion-misfit-set-for-loan-departure-1796653.html?


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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2016, 09:39:20 AM »
Fulham linked with move for Baggies stopper 



Championship club Fulham are being linked with a move for West Bromwich Albion goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, according to Get West London.

The West London club already currently have Andy Lonergan, Joe Lewis and Marcus Bettinelli on the books at Craven Cottage but Manager Slavisa Jokanovic is understood to be weighing up a move for a fourth goalkeeper.

Andy Lonergan is the current first choice goalkeeper at Fulham while Joe Lewis has been providing cover on the bench. Marcus Bettinelli is currently out of action with a long term knee injury.

The signing of former Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard could provide Lonergan with some stift competition although The Cottagers’ number one has been in superb form in recent weeks.

Lindegaard joined West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer from Manchester United last summer and signed a two year deal at The Midlands club but has found opportunities limited at The Hawthorns.

Baggies boss Tony Pulis has fielded both Ben Foster and Boaz Myhill ahead of the 31 year old Dane so far this season.

Lindegaard started his playing career in his homeland appearing for Odense, Kolding and Aalesund before his move to Manchester United in 2010. The Dane has struggled to make in impact in England having made just 29 appearances in four and a half years at Old Trafford.

The goalkeeper has represented Denmark at full international level on five occasions and will be looking to gain some further first team playing experience if he is to force his way back into the Denmark squad.

http://the72.co.uk/45633/fulham-linked-move-baggies-stopper/?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2016, 09:44:09 AM »
The Tony Gale Column



Huddersfield were in good form going into Saturday’s match, so it was important not to lose. It was interesting we went for one up front; we set our stall out not to lose, and it worked. Maybe Slaviša Jokanović was thinking about the games with Hull, Derby and Middlesbrough coming up, and that’s the way we’re going to set up against attacking teams, play it tight.

The players have spoken about how he’s trying to get them to adopt a pressing game, and that paid off early doors on Saturday. Okay, their defender played it straight to Ross McCormack, but it was his presence that far up the pitch that led to the opportunity. The high press is good if you’re playing against teams who are going to play out from the back, and Huddersfield are one of those. It wouldn’t work as well against teams who want to play longer, and there are some in the Championship, so you have to pick and choose who you press against. It’s fair enough if you do it against the teams I mentioned earlier because they’re quality sides who try to play Premier League football, a bit like us.



Of those, Hull are first up at the weekend, and that will be a stern test at the Cottage. Steve Bruce has been around the block, and he’s a good manager. It’s looking like they’ll definitely be in the Play-Offs, but they’re also fighting for a top-two position. I don’t think in this league he’s particularly worried whether they play good or bad football, as long as they’re picking up points. When I’ve seen them on TV this season, they’ve not always played well but they still win the game, because they’ve got that footballing nous within the team and know how to win when they’re playing poorly. A good example would be when they won at QPR recently; it was an awful game, probably one of the worst to have been on TV this season, and afterwards Brucie said, “I apologise for the football, it wasn’t the best, but we won the game and this is what the Championship’s all about.”


They’re also a good example of how beneficial it can be to keep your team together after you’ve been relegated. I was pleased to see that Jake Livermore’s come back after his ban – I think he was key, because really you’ve got yourself a Premier League midfield player. I would pick him as my main man. They’ve also got quite a few strikers, so when one’s off form they can mix and match it, and that makes a difference. Abel Hernandez is their main man up top. I saw him in the Premier League and he didn’t pull up any trees but you can see that at this level he’s looking on course to be at least a 20-goal-a-season man.

Jokanović has said how he wants to bring in some players on loan, and I think he should be looking at real men; players who’ve done it in the Championship who can come in and be a really strong presence in that team. I don’t think we’ll be looking for fluffy, luxury, flair players. I think we’ll be looking for some real strength, real men.

From now until the end of the season there’s got to be a real concerted effort to play some fight football, in addition to thinking about the pretty stuff. We know we’ve got some players who can play, but we need the fight, the grit and the determination to get out of trouble. We’ve got to stand up between now and the end of the season. We’ve got some tough games coming up and we’ve got to try and get every point we can.

http://www.fulhamfc.com/news/2016/january/19/the-tony-gale-column?

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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2016, 09:48:53 AM »
Ross McCormack: Replaceable?


With news yesterday afternoon that Fulham have allegedly rejected an offer of £8m from promotion chasing Middlesbrough for striker and top scorer Ross McCormack, I pondered life without the Scot for a moment and felt that his impact and contribution could be replaced which was argued against fairly strongly (though respectfully I may add) and it inspired me to take my pen – or keyboard – to the issue.

At 29 years old and closing in on the age of 30 by the start of next season, Ross McCormack is in his peak ages and with a reputation of being one of the most clinical strikers in the division, scoring 60 goals in the last two and half seasons crossing Yorkshire and London with 19 games remaining in the current season. Alongside strong scoring statistics, McCormack has been credited with 26 assists in the same time period meaning in 117 games; Ross McCormack has scored or created 86 goals. Nobody can dispute his goal record, but this post will hopefully raise the argument that our Scotsman can be replaced.

I wanted to open this post by looking at what Ross McCormack means for team mechanics – short in stature and lacking in pace – McCormack is best suited to a strike partnership of which he’s found one with academy product Moussa Dembele that has blossomed. The Scotsman has experience life on the left flank at Cardiff and Leeds in the past years and was started there in Slavisa Jokanovic’s first match for the football club to fairly little effect against Sheffield Wednesday. This past weekend at Huddersfield, McCormack was placed as the lone striker for the first time since moving to the football club and the first time I can recall; and despite scoring the striker was quiet. GetWestLondon quoted the new Fulham manager on Monday afternoon that he “likes to play like Barcelona, but that is not an option.” Two dabbles with a 433 have perhaps foreshadowed the eventuality of Jokanovic’s vision for the football club, with a couple questions marks with regards to Ross McCormack let alone other factors. Can Ross McCormack lead an attack alone? He touched the ball 20 fewer times against Huddersfield on his own compared to the strike partnership in the previous match against Wolves. Using the same matches, McCormack’s passing accuracy dropped fairly dramatically from 79.5% in a twosome against Wolves to 42.1% against Huddersfield – the worst passing percentage of any outfield player to start a match for Fulham this season and a drop from his tidy average of 80.4%.

In that way, Ross McCormack does leave us tactically limited although statistics and performance analysis, admittedly, is from an incredibly small sample size. You could argue that rather than attempting to fit square pegs in round holes that you should mould your players into the system best suited to them – and that’s a completely valid point, however, Head Coach Slavisa Jokanovic and Chief Football Officer Mike Rigg do appear to have a 433 in mind which suggests moving on from Ross McCormack to build a team for that system and that style of play. Back to Middlesbrough’s rumoured rejected offer of £8m, presuming the Teesside football club continue their interest and raise their bid to £10m for example, could we take that money and build a team more suited to Slavisa Jokanovic’s wishes and to Fulham’s aim of Premier League promotion?

But what about a transfer embargo? Can we replace his goals this season? Both valid arguments again, Fulham are restricted to replacements in this transfer window and would be losing the joint top scorer in the division who has also been involved in the most goals in the division and potentially his strike partner Moussa Dembele too, which is another post in itself. With Middlesbrough signing Kike Sola on loan plus looking for another striker (Jordan Rhodes another potential recruitment) there has been talk that they may be willing to use their original Kike as bait to help a move. The 26-year-old Spaniard scored 10 and got 3 assists in 26 starts for Middlesbrough last season, as well as 5 goals and 1 assist in 10 starts this. Kike stands at 6ft 1 and boasts clever movement and touch – something which could see him suit a lone striker role more so than McCormack – and the goals could well come with a solid run of games and starts as former Spain U20 international fired Murcia to 4th place in the Spanish second division with 23 goals in 41 matches. If Middlesbrough wanted to make this deal extra sweet, chuck James Husband into the mix too!

I wanted to keep this as focused on Ross McCormack as possible, we could speculate on potential replacements. In our Scottish striker, we are not just looking at replacing goals and I feel he’ll at the least reach 20 goals but the chances he creates. Ross McCormack sits in 16th in the division for key passes, 38, with Tom Cairney his nearest competition at the football club with 34. Key passes is a strange statistic to work with as a key pass can include taking a met corner but my theory is to replace Ross McCormack with those that can make up his numbers, so rather than bringing in one player who can also score 20 goals and assist 10 (as form dictates he will), you bring in a striker who can score 15 and a couple of wingers who can chip in with maybe 5 goals and 10 assists each which is 35 goals from our example three forward players (Ross McCormack currently sits on 21). Of course, this relies on getting players that you could rely on contributing these figures and again it might be difficult within the January window but I have the long-term goal in mind. In 6 months time, will somebody want to give us this potential of money for a player now dauntingly close to the age of 30 with a good player in exchange?

But, if we sell Ross we will be relegated? Another fair argument, he’s an influential football who, as we’ve discussed, can score and create goals and selling him does leave us a weaker team. However, replaced adequately with loans this month and we can at the very least get by for the remainder of the season. In an ideal world, we would see the football club bring in an attacker or two whose deals could be made permanent for the corresponding season as we build a squad better suited to Jokanovic’s ‘Barcelona’ and to achieving the ultimate goal of promotion. Ultimately, I don’t think Ross McCormack leaving would decide our fate, there’s plenty of quality out there whether it’s Kike in exchange, or loan moves for the likes of Patrick Bamford or Dwight Gayle. The quality is out there to survive, with the mire of Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers; you could be forgiven for presuming the relegation battle is really for that remaining spot this season and I would back us to out point MK Dons, Rotherham United and Bristol City in the last 19 matches.

I want to close this post really by stressing again that there’s life beyond Ross McCormack. Leeds United finished above us last season without McCormack and currently holds a four-point lead ahead of us as we speak. He’s a fantastic talent, it’s been a joy to watch at times but for this team to become more productive, more efficient and more of a well-oiled machine then selling Ross McCormack in a deal that suits us could be the step back to take two or three forward. A better Fulham could be one with more investment in wide areas; a better Fulham could be one with more investment in the spine of the side at centre back and defensive midfield. If this window is one in which is say goodbye to Ross McCormack, then it will be with fondness for me, but it will also be a window in which I see potential for the team to grow despite a transfer embargo.

http://hammyend.com/index.php/2016/01/ross-mccormack-replaceable/?


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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2016, 09:50:48 AM »
Match Report: Huddersfield Town 1 - 1 Fulham
 


In an amazing stroke of luck, we managed to leave Huddersfield with a draw on Saturday afternoon.

Is there anything else to say? Oh yeah, there is.

Anyways, the game started off incredibly, with Ross McCormack getting a goal in the second minute to make it 1-0. A square ball from Jonathan Hogg led the Scot to make a daring run, before finishing in great fashion past Jed Steer. It was nearly two after a great spell of possession, when Alexander Kacaniklic converted a Jazz Richards cross into the net; however, it was ruled offside.

McCormack found himself in a similar situation, when he was fouled in the box by Mark Hudson following a through ball by Jamie O'Hara, but the referee waved the appeal away, before Huddersfield made it a tie. A Emyr Huws free kick found Hudson, who escaped his marker before slotting his right footed shot past Andrew Lonergan to make it 1-1 in the 19th minute.

Joe Lolley had a long distance effort that flew over in the 30th minute, before a free kick from O'Hara led to McCormack getting a shot off at the post, which was somehow blocked from a diving Hudson. A long range effort from Huws went wide of our post. Not much really took place before the end of the half.

Scott Parker came on to replace Emerson Hydman in the 50th minute, just as Lonergan made an amazing save, twice, to keep it 1-1. Lasse Vigen Christensen helped Luke Garbutt run down the left before shooting, when really he should have crossed, as the ball went wide. Kacaniklic had a left-footed wide shot just after. He was subsequently substituted for Moussa Dembele at the hour mark.

Not much happened in the last half an hour, but Parker and Dembele shared a one-two in the 75th minute, but the ball ended up out of reach. Shaun Hutchinson made a great save with his head just two minutes later, following a cross from the home team, before Sakari Mattila came on for O'Hara with ten minutes left. And that was it, a 1-1 draw.

http://cottagersconfidential.sbnation.com/2016/1/19/10789972/match-report-huddersfield-town-1-1-fulham

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Re: Wednesday Fulham News: 20.01.2016
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2016, 09:53:30 AM »
Craven Corner: Why Fulham fans should expect Moussa Dembele exit



With Fulham’s promotion dreams now in tatters they have less than two weeks to try to hold on to their star strikers. Adam Brons-Smith blogs on his transfer window opinions ahead of the tricky Hull clash.

After a two tough fixtures, Slavisa Jokanovic earned his first point as Fulham’s head coach with a 1-1 draw away at Huddersfield.

Before the Wolves and Huddersfield games, I stated that they should be fixtures that the club would need to win should they be serious about promotion this season, and sadly with a return of one point out of a possible six Fulham find themselves four points above the relegation zone and 17 points adrift from the play offs.

A disappointing 2016 looks to be on the cards for the Fulham faithful, with a mid-table spot the best they could realistically achieve this season. However there have been some positives since installing Jokanovic. While the points total has been lower than expected it’s clear that Jokanovic is slowly installing his philosophies and ideas to the players.

The squad seems more confident on the ball and retains possession, I guess you can label it a ‘slightly attractive’ style of football, and over time a killer edge in the final third will come. To some extent while this season is a write-off, and a summer rebuild is on the cards, it allows Jokanovic to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of his squad - realising where he needs to build and who isn’t up to scratch.

One player that has proved his worth is the one and only Ross McCormack, arguably the club’s best investment for a very long while. The Scot notched up his 17th goal of the season against Huddersfield, a feat that some strikers at higher level don’t achieve until May. It proves how valuable the Scot is to the club and its future. McCormack is coming into his peak and while that may sound strange the role he excels in comes with age. He isn’t a striker that relies on pace, and therefore as the years go by he hasn’t got to worry about ‘his legs going’. McCormack thrives on creativity and class, he operates in pockets of space to have a pop shot or play the killer pass for his fellow forward to score.

Despite the club signing players in the past that were vital to our Europa/Premier League success, in my opinion it’s very hard to argue that Ross McCormack isn’t our most important signing. In some of the saddest years and performances, McCormack has rescued the club on numerous occasions. Without his goals and assists Fulham could have been relegated last year and without him this season would probably be in the relegation zone. McCormack is paramount to getting out of the Championship and club must retain his services in this window and the summer to ensure the club has the best quality of player in the league to mount a promotion challenge.

While Jokanovic and the club have continually stated that ‘no one will be leaving this month’ speculation continues to mount around our key players in McCormack and Moussa Dembele. With many of the top teams keen on McCormack, I feel confident that he will stay.

Sadly, I’d be very shocked if Dembele is still at Fulham in February. The teenager has taken the footballing world by storm since his introduction to the first-team and it seems like everyday another top European club has been in touch with his representatives.

For a Fulham fan it’s vital that he goes to an English club rather than abroad. If Moussa joins the likes of Juventus, Wolfsburg or Monaco the club will only be entitled to £300,000 in compensation - but should he choose to join an English club, Fulham have a much bigger case to demand a higher fee in compensation which could be in the region of £3-5m.

Despite being in a transfer embargo, the club continues to work with Jokanovic to bring in some loan players. There are obviously restrictions on the financial side in terms of payments for the loans and wages, which makes recruiting even tougher this month - but at least we can remain positive about the board’s attempts to strengthen our position even with such barriers than our embargo brings. In a quick round up of rumours and reports, Fulham have been linked with Anders Lindegaard and Steve Sidwell - two experienced Premier League players that would enhance the squad. Lindegaard is a giant presence and requires game time after failing to settle at West Brom and with long-term doubts over Marcus Bettinelli he could be the top level of competition than Andy Lonergan requires. While a potential return for Steve Sidwell has received mixed opinion from Fulham fans. I for one would love to see Steve back in the midfield at Craven Cottage.

Our current team does lack strong, passionate players that will battle for everything and that’s something Sidwell has in abundance. With the injury sustained to Ryan Tunnicliffe, we lack a combative midfielder, and despite Super Sidwell entering his final years of his playing career, he could still provide that battling attitude that we seriously lack.

Fulham return to Craven Cottage on Saturday for an incredibly tough game against an in-form Hull City side. A tough test for Jokanovic, and he will really be able to see what level of quality his squad possesses as they face one of the best teams in this division.

A draw would be a good result considering Hull’s season to date, but if Jokanovic could manage his first win in charge, the Fulham faithful would really get behind the new head coach and side.

Thank you ever so much for reading - You can contact me on Twitter, @ABronsSmith

http://www.london24.com/sport/football/clubs/fulham/craven_corner_why_fulham_fans_should_expect_moussa_dembele_exit_1_4385729