FULHAM: IS THE PREM JUST A STEP TOO FAR?
The Premier League is forever growing in quality, as season upon season the talent of players is improving across the board. Nelson Semedo’s recent arrival at Wolves is a prime example. The Portuguese right-back was a Barcelona regular until he was snapped up by Nuno Espirito Santo earlier in the window. Bizzare!
This constant increase of talent proves overwhelmingly difficult for newly promoted teams to get a foothold in the toughest division football manifests. This often leads to promoted clubs neglecting players that have got them there and instead turning towards big money and big hit signings.
Fulham may well fall victim to this notion; the Cottagers have spent the least amount of money in the transfer window thus far and have mostly been relying off the captures of loans to add some quality to their mediocre squad.
Having played 3 games in the Premier League already, Scott Parker’s men are already showing their frailties in defence. With the window slamming shut on October 5th, it gives Fulham a very short time to strengthen the places they are most vulnerable.
The whites have already conceded 10 goals, averaging out at more than three a game. Seven of those goals were also shipped against potential relegation rivals, falling to the hands of a 4-3 defeat by Leeds United and a crushing 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa.
The clubs most recognised centre-backs, Tim Ream and Denis Odoi are just not good enough and have been described by fans as `Championship level defenders`. With both of them already having been relegated from the Premier League with Fulham in 2018/19, it seems ludicrous that the club have not yet signed a centre-back to at least attempt to solve their defensive woes.
In their defeat to Aston Villa, Tony Khan, the club’s chairman, spoke out rather vocally on social media about their performance on the night, apologising to fans and expressing his frustration of not being able to get the players he wants through the door.
This only worsened the situation at hand, with reports coming out at Craven Cottage that the players were distraught with the comments made. Scott Parker, who was also asked about the comments in a press conference on Tuesday night, brandished them as `unhelpful` to his players.
Having said all that, they have brought in some reinforcements. Right-back Kenny Tete being one, signed from Lyon for £3m, the 24-year-old does possess 13 caps for the Netherlands. A shock capture of PSG and former Real Madrid goalkeeper Alphonso Areola will certainly give them boosted strength in net, whilst the tedious hunt for a centre-back is ongoing.
If Fulham are to survive the drop this season the signing of a quality centre-back before Monday`s deadline is crucial. Their current squad does however show glimmers of hope, creative midfielder Tom Cairney and Serbian hitman Alexander Mitrovic could be the pair that spare Fulham`s blushes.
There has been little encouragement for the London club to go off in these last few weeks. If Mitrovic doesn’t start scoring and the owners don’t splash the cash, then Fulham`s goal will be accumulating more points in order to eclipse that abysmal 11 points tally that Derby County managed in 2007/08.