Everyone knows the market for players in January is inflated. A team looking to make improvements runs the risk of overspending for not a lot of quality. Lets remember the January window of last year and how that worked out. Fulham needs improvement. When asked about the pair, Kit Symons said bringing them back was a very real possibility:
Yeah, bringing them back would certainly be a possibility.
Those are two players who are Fulham players with Championship experience. I’m very reticent to bring anyone into the club unless I’m convinced they’re the right person character-wise, and their ability as a player.
I’m 100 per cent sure they’re character wise and ability wise what we need. Ryan and Alex are two players I know very well.
In central midfield Fulham don't really have a backup for Scott Parker besides Eslad Zverotic or Tim Hoogland, both of whom are better served playing fullback. They only have two other real central midfielders on the roster, Emerson Hyndman and Lasse Vigen Christensen. That's definitely a position that could use strengthening. Of course we've been saying that for years now. When Ryan Tunnicliffe showed up last January, it seemed he might be the answer. He could partner with Scott Parker, or perhaps understudy and play a more defensive role. He seems to fit a need Fulham have had, and if Felix Magath hadn't been running things, I'm sure he'd still be here. He's had plenty of experience in the Championship and has already played 12 times for Blackburn this year. I can't imagine he'd be a worse option than Zverotic. Plus, he's free. Between him and possibly extending the loan of Seko Fofana, Fulham might suddenly have enough central midfielders.
Alex Kacaniklic is an almost more intriguing option. When putting players out wide, Fulham have resorted to moving many of them out of position. Symons has used Bryan Ruiz wide, but we all know he's much more of a true number 10 that likes to sit in the middle. George Williams has been played wide, but he's naturally much more of a secondary striker (similar to Ross McCormack). Chris David has played wide, but he's very much in the mold of Ruiz. Even Kostas Stafalydis has played on the wing. The players we though might be wingers seem to be very much out of favor with Kit. Thomas Eisfeld, Adil Chihi, Mesca, and Larnell Cole don't seem to be in the plans much at all. Other than Patrick Roberts, Fulham don't have any real wingers that Kit seems to rate. That makes the idea of Kacaniklic very intriguing.
This move actually makes a ton of sense. He signed a contract extension before his loan, so his departure had to be more Magath related than the club wanting to let him go. He's played fairly well for FC Copenhagen, but that league is worse than the Championship. Now that the club is out of the Europa League, he'll be playing better competition by returning to England. While he's not as talented as Ruiz, he might just fit the system better and would soften the blow somewhat when Ruiz inevitably leaves in January.
If you bring in these two players for free you have strengthened some needs without spending any money. That will allow the club to re-invest the money they get from Ruiz's sale into the other big need: Fullbacks.