We found out Friday that it was very likely and probably a certainty that Stekelenburg would not be a member of this roster come to the close of the Transfer Window. This was announced via Felix Magath's press conference Friday morning at Ipswitch Town. It would take all of 24 hours for pictures of him and his agreement with AS Monaco FC to be circulated about through twitters.
Two prominent things of note stand out post transaction.
First, that he is only going on-loan. This is not permanent and it's probable that he will return to the club. His wages make it difficult for most clubs to retain him as anything but a starter but with Monaco selling of stars such as James Rodriguez and Falcao it's obvious that they got a bit in the piggy bank and with no Diego Lopez he creates depth with Danijel Subasic as it's presumed that both will fight to the death for the starting job.
The question is then what happens when he returns. If twitter is a good gauge (and I don't think it is) for the pulse of the fan base then most were very excited to see him off. Which makes it rather awkward in the fact that he'll likely return in 10 months at it's conclusion. This assuming that either there isn't a purchase option, which I think would be a grand omission, or that--and more likely--Monaco turns down said option.
At the conclusion of the loan deal The Dutchman would still have two years on his contract with Fulham meaning that there could still be some complications to finding a transfer or loan deal out.
Second, and more pertaining to the club itself. We now lack a "veteran keeper". This is of course a very keen topic with most supporters as the trend asks how can a club properly control its youngsters on the pitch without a stable and experienced voice to govern them. I response with this a table of all keepers in the past four years who have recieved the lion share of starts for a club who has either A) made automatic promotion or B) been apart of the playoffs.
|2013-14||Leicester City||Kasper Schmeichel||27||X|
|2013-14||Queens Park Rangers||Robert Green||34||X||X|
|2013-14||Derby County||Lee Grant||31||X|
|2013-14||Wigan Athletic||Ali Al-Habsi||32||X|
|2013-14||Brighton & Hove Albion||Tomasz Kuszczak||31||X|
|2012-13||Cardiff City||David Marshall||28||X|
|2012-13||Crystal Palace||Julián Speroni||35||X||X|
|2012-13||Hull City||Eldin Jakupović||28||X|
|2012-13||Brighton & Hove Albion||Tomasz Kuszczak||30||X|
|2012-13||Leicester City||Kasper Schmeichel||26||X|
|2011-12||West Ham United||Robert Green||32||X||X|
|2011-12||Cardiff City||David Marshall||27||X|
|2011-12||Birmingham City||Jack Butland||19||X|
|2010-11||Queens Park Rangers||Paddy Kenny||33||X|
|2010-11||Norwich City||John Ruddy||24||X|
|2010-11||Swansea City||Dorus de Vries||30||X||X|
|2010-11||Cardiff City||Tom Heaton||24||X|
|2010-11||Nottingham Forest||Lee Camp||25||X|
|2009-10||Newcastle United||Steve Harper||35||X|
|2009-10||West Bromwich Albion||Dean Kiely||39||X|
|2009-10||Nottingham Forest||Lee Camp||24||X|
|2009-10||Cardiff City||David Marshall||25||X|
|2009-10||Leicester City||Chris Weale||28||X|
This isn't a device in which to grade the performance of keepers who took part in the Championships of past. It's merely a historical precedence for a teams won with between the sticks. As you can see there aren't many in the early twenties and only one that is just shy, Jack Butland. I'm sure that this would push more fans to the inclination of wishing Stockdale was still around and I don't see how that's an inappropriate thought. However, I would encourage you to see that there are some teams that earned their way to a Promotable position inspite of this approach.
Having someone as young as Jesse Joronen as the primary keeper this season doesn't inherently help or hurt the club. It just means that they don't have the experience compared to others. This is usually portrayed in a positive manner but it can also be a negative. Bad past experiences and frustrations can complicate situations that would normally seem simple to the laymen.
I don't have a problem bringing in a better keeper or even a equally talented "experienced" keeper if that's what is judged to be a need. But we don't know that to be a need. We hardly know who Jesse Joronen is. He's all of 20 years of age and, likely, hardly knows himself at this stage. Let's wait and see how this develops before we judge the Magath's read of the situation.
Magath has seen Joronen all summer and pre-season. It's fair to think that Magath was assured of Stekelenburgs departure before he raised the situation at his press conference as well as at the time of the Stockdale sale. The only logical conclusion to take from that is that he's confident in his young keeper and we should be too.
As for Steke the best thing for both him and Fulham is that he has a successful loan period. He wins the first term job and then follows that with a successful transfer here is to that and many great things for both parties