Fulham have a new owner but he is yet to bank roll a shopping spree…
Since Fulham made a surprise - but deserved - appearance in the 2010 Europa League final, the club could only go one way. While the fall from grace has not been too severe, there is still rebuilding to do following the departures of two of the club's leading lights: Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele, both to Tottenham Hotspur.
Under Martin Jol, the Cottagers finished in an underwhelming but steady 12th Premier League place last season. While eccentric long-running owner Mohamad Al Fayed will no longer be waving his scarf around before kick off every other Saturday at home, the club have a new owner, Shahid Khan, a Lahore-born American who also owns NFL side Jacksonville Jaguars.
|Sascha Riether||Defender||Cologne||May 16||£1.3 million|
|Fernando Amorebieta||Defender||Athletic Bilbao||May 22||Free|
|Derek Boateng||Midfielder||Dnipro Dnipopetrovsk||May 22||Free|
|Maarten Stekelenburg||Goalkeeper||AS Roma||June 4||£4.0 million|
|Ange-Freddy Plumain||Midfielder||Lens||June 4||Free|
Someone quick, as Fulham can sometimes appear one-paced.
Players linked with:
Darren Bent has been linked with Fulham over 20 times in the newspaper press, usually with a £6 million cited in the rumour. Other players speculated with a transfer to West London include Sunderland midfielder Lee Cattermole and Roma forward Pablo Osvaldo.
Perpetually loaned out glovesman David Stockdale could be sent away again, to Hull City, who are familiar with the big man, or West Ham United. Galatasaray are said to be interested in Dimitar Berbatov while promising teenager Patrick Roberts has allegedly attracted the attention of Manchester United and Liverpool.
With a change in top brass, particularly to wealthy foreign owners, can come a backing in the transfer market - something that has not really kicked off for Fulham yet. Furthermore, the club should have more license in the summer market as Al Fayed conveniently converted loans into equity and thus eliminated much of the debt.
If Fulham were to make a couple more additions, primarily to their attack, then they will possess a neatly balanced squad.
Berbatov has already proved a bargain buy for £5 million and Martin Jol may make a similar coup this summer should he land consistent 1:2 goals per game striker Darren Bent, a pacey front-man who could relish the service provided by silky Berbatov and one who would prove more reliable than the irregular form of occasionally spectacular Bryan Ruiz.
Bilbao bruiser Amorebieta is a towering centre back, like Brede Hangeland, and will likely be his partner at the back. However, he is also confident on the ball. The only question mark over the Venezuela international is if he can quickly become accustomed to defending the pace of attacking football in England.
Boateng, of Dnipro, meanwhile, will likely add some guile and menace to the middle of the park. With both Amorebieta and Boateng seemingly slotting straight into the first XI, and both arriving on a free transfer, it looks like Jol has produced strong, and effective, transfer business.
Grade so far: