Former fans favourite Sean Davis believes Fulham’s Kevin McDonald is an underrated midfielder and is vital to the club’s promotion chances this season, he wrote in his column for the club’s official website.
Slavisa Jokanovic’s men have climbed the league table and now found themselves in contention for the second automatic promotion spot alongside Cardiff City and Steve Bruce’s Aston Villa.
The likes of Ryan Sessegnon, Tom Cairney and new loan signing Aleksandar Mitrovic have all received their fair share of plaudits over the past two months, but Davis believes holding midfielder McDonald is key to Fulham’s recent success.
“He’s one of those players that keeps the team together. His position in the starting XI is vital, he’s a leader on the pitch, he covers a lot of ground, tactically he’s very, very good, and he moves the ball very well,” Davis wrote for Fulhamfc.com.
“He gives that protection to the back four as well, so I’m not surprised one bit that Alex McLeish [Scotland boss] wants him in his squad.”
McDonald joined Fulham from Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2016 and he has gone on to feature in over 70 Championship games for the club, becoming a vital player in Jokanovic’s system.
The uncapped Scottish midfielder will sit in-front of the back four, allowing the likes of Stefan Johansen and Cairney to push further forward and link up with Newcastle United loanee Mitrovic.
In such a system, there is extra emphasis on the holding midfielder to remain tactically astute and McDonald’s job is not only to break up play, but also to provide the link from defence to midfield in possession.
With no other natural holding midfielder in Fulham’s squad, the 29-year-old is arguably the club’s key player and right now he is irreplaceable in their bid for promotion to the Premier League.