Why is Fulham's star signing from Leeds still in the shadows?

Ross McCormack joined Fulham for a record fee, but why has he made just one appearance in pre-season?

Scottish international McCormack was last seasons Championship top scorer, and it was his attacking prowess that made Fulham shell out a fee of £11 million to secure his services - a record transfer between two clubs outside of the Premier League.

The 27-year old netted 28 times in the second tier of English football last season, and Fulham fans were whetting their appetites upon his arrival - with many believing that he was the key for an immediate return to the riches of the Premier League.

However, McCormack has failed to set the world alight with his early impact, and, although pre-season is hardly the place to draw judgement on players - with many holding back through fear of injury - the Scot has failed to draw any reaction from fans - except from those asking where he is.

A starting role in a friendly with Motherwell, in which he played the full game, has been McCormack's only appearance for the Cottagers so far, and, with the lack of media interest following his progress, many believe that Fulham boss Felix Magath has already drawn judgement on the striker.

German coach Magath is known for his intense treatment of players, and his willingness to outcast players who rebel against his methods, and there is a chance that McCormack did just that in his first few days with the London club - ruining his immediate career at Craven Cottage in an instant.

There have been rumours of an injury keeping McCormack out of the friendlies, but with no update concerning his progress, fans have been left confused by his position in the squad, with many drawing conclusions that he had a disagreement with his new manager, and as a result is being made to train out of the public eye.

Whilst that may be one instance of what has happened behind the scenes at Craven Cottage, there is still the chance that Magath doesn't believe that the striker is fit enough to be tested in first team football. Having lobbied for a move away from Leeds United, he did not travel to their training camp, before joining up with the Cottagers later than the majority of their squad.

Therefore, he is theoretically two to three weeks behind the rest of the squad in fitness preparation. This could also be the reason for his apparent separation from the rest of the squad, with him being made to work on his fitness by himself, rather than on match preparation in a team setting.

It remains to be seen whether McCormack features in Fulham's opening game of the Championship season - away at Ipswich on Saturday - but, considering his goal scoring exploits last season, and the record fee the London club signed him for, if he does miss out, there may be no denying that Magath has outcast the striker - and potentially cost Fulham promotion in the process.

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