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Friday Fulham Stuff - 06/08/21...

Started by WhiteJC, August 06, 2021, 12:04:20 AM

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Silva: We're all set for big Boro test

Marco Silva says he couldn't have picked a better test with which to assess Fulham's Championship credentials than taking on Middlesbrough in the first match of the season.

The Portuguese head coach is a huge admirer of Boro boss Neil Warnock, whom he beat twice when in charge of Everton, and knows that the Whites will need to be at their best to prevail in their first league fixture. Silva told FFCTV he wouldn't be underestimating Sunday's opponents:

"A very good team, a really experienced coach who knows this competition well and it will be a tough test against a very strong side. We respect Middlesbrough, the quality they have, they want to fight for the top positions in the table as well. We are ready to compete, to put on the pitch the things we have been working on so far. We will have the commitment, the attitude, the desire and the attitude to win a football match.

"If you can choose to start at home or away, we would choose to start at home with our stadium full because it will be one of the keys for us to be stronger in the season. I think it is the best way to start at home against a strong side and a good test for us.

Silva said Fulham are likely to be without some key personnel, including skipper Tom Cairney and Terence Kongolo for the opening weeks of the season, but believes his squad has demonstrated that they are strong enough to still deliver consistent performances.

"We had some issues during the pre season and some players didn't participate enough. I'm a hundred per cent sure that in three or four weeks we will be different and stronger as a team because we'll have all the squad ready and the solutions for me will be different. The work the players have done shows that I can trust in all for them – because they have the quality, they are really committed to our challenge – and we will be ready."

The Fulham boss shared his excitement with the big kick off just around the corner.

It's always exciting moments at the start. You feel that the competition has [stepped up] in the training sessions. We will start our long journey next Sunday. All of us have the desire to start in the right way – our opponent wans the same. Let's see what team will be stronger when we start the game. Of course, we want it to be ourselves and we will do our best to achieve the three points.


Transfer News: Everton interested in Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa

Everton are interested in Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa but face competition from Valencia for his services.

According to Italian publication TuttoMercatoWeb, Premier League side, Everton have thrown their name into the hat for Fulham midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

The Cameroonian joined the Cottagers from Marseille in 2018, making 63 appearances for them since. The 25-year-old spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at Villarreal as Fulham won promotion to the Premier League. He returned to Craven Cottage for the 2020/21 campaign and was a regular fixture in their league games, missing just two all season.

While his performances for Fulham paled in comparison to what he showed at Villarreal, he was still amongst Scott Parker's best performers. Ultimately it was not enough, and they were relegated to the Championship. The player, however, could return to the top flight provided Everton have their way.

The Toffees, now managed by Rafael Benitez, have entered the race for the player and are ready to challenge Valencia for his signature. The Spanish giants have already made a move for the midfielder but have been rebuffed by Fulham. Having experienced the taste of top-flight football, the 25-year-old may not be keen to take a step down in the upcoming campaign and could be on the move this summer.

Former Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was an admirer of the player and was linked with him earlier this summer. The Italian manager may not be in charge anymore, but the club remains keen on landing him.  A defensive midfielder, he would be an upgrade over Toffees star Andre Gomes. Not only is he more athletic and a better offensive contributor than the Portuguese, but also a force to contend with in the air.

He has also put up better numbers than other Toffees midfielders, namely, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Allan and Tom Davies. This is especially true when it comes to the ability in the air.

His presence in the middle of the park could help Everton recover possession and stop the opposition from winning aerial balls. He is athletic, good in the air, and with the ball at his feet. Add to it his ability to play a through pass and bringing the ball out from the back, he could help connect the attack to the defence, adding something new to the Everton midfield.

Anguissa is valued at €25 million and could prove to be an excellent under-the-radar signing who is effective on the field. While he may have been with Fulham for the last three years, he has prior top-flight experience with Marseille, not to mention the impressive solo season on loan at Villarreal. He outperformed veteran midfielder Vincent Iborra at El Madrigal and showed the ability to thrive in a side capable of competing in Europe.

If his numbers in a struggling Fulham side are impressive, surrounding himself with better players at Everton will help him develop further. Benitez has managed some of the best midfielders in the world during his long and storied managerial career. Whether Anguissa will join the list of those who the Spaniard helped improve remains to be seen.


Everton join Anguissa race

Everton are mulling a summer move for Fulham midfielder Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa, according to reports.

The Cameroon midfielder is apparently not keen on plying his trade in the Championship this season, having previously been loaned to Villarreal when the Whites dropped out of the top flight before. Fulham have already rejected a loan bid from Valencia – that is understood not to have included a loan fee – and Serie A side Roma were credited with a strong interest in the 25 year-old in Italian press reports this morning.

Tuttomercatoweb claims that the Toffees are keen to bring Anguissa to Merseyside. Carlo Ancelotti is understood to be a keen admirer of the former Marseilles midfielder and Everton have retained the interest after the appointment of Rafa Benitez, who is keen to add to his options in the centre of the park. Fulham are believed to sell Anguissa if a suitor is willing to meet their £21m valuation.