The transfer window so far – Fulham

Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at how the transfer window is progressing for some of the busier clubs outside the Premier League’s upper reaches – starting with today’s piece on Fulham

What they needed

Fulham in truth did exceptionally well last term to finish in the respectable twelve position that they achieved, given that the end of the summer transfer window saw them lose both Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey – two players who undoubtedly were pivotal to their set up. Further to that they also lost the likes of Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu, both in truth have probably seen their best days now but they had been part of the core for a number of years and therefore still needed replacing. Add in the fact that the squad is hardly amongst the youngest in the league and you start to appreciate that things could have gone a lot worse last season.

Martin Jol did in fairness make one key transfer that summer in the form of Dimitar Berbatov who some would say kept Fulham in the division – given that their second highest scorer hit just five it is hard not to appreciate just how imperative the Bulgarian was.

Having started the season with a worryingly thin squad Fulham were hit by a host of injuries, which meant Jol had to scrap around for players wherever he could, with several free agents brought in – not something he will want to repeat this term.

With the squad still very much thin on the ground and remaining to lack youth coupled with Fulham’s alarmingly poor end to the season Jol will know that in this window he must strengthen. The midfield areas remain particularly weak given that those mentioned above have yet to be properly replaced, whilst support for Berbatov also looks imperative if Fulham are to not get sucked in to a relegation battle.

The majority of the side that achieved consistent success over the last five years have now either moved on or have their best years behind them, meaning there is a real need to strengthen if a relegation scrap is to be avoided.

What they have got so far

Fulham will without question be happy with their business so far – with three players already signed up and another believed to be on the way.

Derek Boeteng has been a long time target and his signature should add much needed steal and energy to a midfield that was often lightweight and over run last time. Venezuelan centre back Fernando Amorebeita will help to reinforce a defence that is worryingly on the wrong side of thirty, although it remains to be seen whether he can achieve what several other South American defenders have failed to do and adapt to Premier League life. A goalkeeper might not have been the immediate priority but Maarten Stekelenburg was too good of an opportunity to turn down, particularly given that Mark Schwarzer is nearing the end of his career.

Wolves winger Bakary Sako is believed to be close to a move to Craven Cottage and if he can transfer the form he showcased last term in the championship then he has the potential to add much needed pace and firepower to the midfield.

Finally Greek legend Giorgos Karagounis has been given a one year deal at the club following a fairly successful spell last term, he won’t do the average age any favours but his quality is undoubtable.

What they still need

Despite getting in these extra bodies there is still a feeling that a real quality or player or two is required if Fulham are to remain in mid table safety. Further to that with the possible exception of Sako none of these players are likely to address the problem of a lack of goal scoring support to Berbatov.

Encouragingly Jol has indicated that he is hoping to seal further deals over the next two weeks – although the likes of Tom Huddlestone and Eyong Enoh don’t really fill the firepower role. That said Huddlestone would be of huge benefit to the already mentioned weak central midfield area, given his strong passing game and physical presence.

With Jol determined to rebuild what has become over time a slightly fractured Fulham squad you would expect their summer shopping spree to be far from over and Fulham fans will certainly hope that is the case.