More Fulham Transfers, Rumors, and Preseason Friendlies

Lars Baron

Fulham are slowly (well, compared to past windows not so slowly) rebuilding the club for life in the Championship.

Everyone is focusing on Ross McCormack. That makes sense, he's a big money signing and he's expected to score goals. We've had our say about what that means for the club going forward. But a team needs more than one player and Fulham have been busy moving people on and bringing in players to replace them.

In a sad bit of news, it appears that Kieran Richardson might be on his way to Aston Villa. This would be the first really big departure from our off season plan, as we didn't think he would be one to go. Fulham have done well to shore up the left back position, so he was more of emergency depth there. It's more worrisome about what they will do with the left sided wide midfield position. It would appear that Alexander Kacaniklic is going to be given the chance to make that position his own. The depth behind him is very young and very unproven though with Mesca, Ryan Williams, George Williams and possibly Adam Taggart being the other options. I really would like to see the club bring in another wide player with experience.

Speaking of fullbacks, Fulham have made a move to bring in another player. Konstantinos Stafylidis has joined the team on loan from Bayer Leverkusen. This is a move I like. The team was weak at left back and and this addresses that. It also helps to make the club much younger. Stafylidis looks to be the starter at left back with depth now coming from Kay Voser, Shaun Hutchinson, and Fernando Amorebieta. Going four deep at the position with different options depending on the tactical setup can only be a good thing.

Finally, in a move that was rumored so long ago I honestly thought it had already happened, Pajtim Kasami has left the team to join Olympiakos. Kasami has always been a player that confused me. I've liked what I've seen of him, but always thought he should be played deeper than he ever was. He just never seemed to be able to find a place to call his own. I don't think he's a wide player. I don't think he's a real attacking midfielder. I thought a Dembele move to half of a double pivot would be good for him, yet it never happened. Here's hoping he has more luck on his new team.

Fulham have done more than sign players. They are actually training and playing friendlies in Scotland. Behind closed doors they fell 4-2 to Rangers. It might seem worrying for the club to fall to a second division Scottish club, however when you look at the lineup Fulham rolled out, it isn't much of a surprise. To start Fulham went with Jesse Joronen (U21) in goal. A backline of Kay Vosser, Shaun Hutchinson, Cameron Burgess (U18), Stafylidis, and Tim Hoogland. The midfield consisted of Chris David, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Patrick Roberts (U18), Moussa Dembele (U18), and Hugo Rodallega. That's hardly a first team lineup. There's also no real holding midfielder. There are five defenders. There are two attacking midfielders. Yet that lineup scored twice in the first half. To start the second half, Fulham went even younger and more experimental if you can believe it with Marcus Bettinelli (U21) coming in at goal. Two Trialists playing. Both George Williams (U18) and Ryan Williams (U21) playing on the wing. Emmerson Hyndman (U18) and Lasse Viggen Christensen (U21) playing in the center of midfield. And Jack Grimmer (U21), Dan Burn, and Eslad Zverotic in defense. While I expect many of those players to get time with the first team this year, I doubt you'll ever see what basically amounts to a U21 lineup in a competitive match. For what it's worth, Felix Magath seemed happy enough with the performance.

That's the Fulham news for now. It seems like there's at least one new story every day, so keep checking back for our hot takes.

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