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2015/16 Fulham Player Profiles: Michael Madl and Dan Burn

Two more defenders make the list. A new fan favorite arrives, while a more divisive player says farewell.

Fulham v Sheffield United - Capital One Cup Second Round Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Michael Madl

Rank: 8 | Age: 24 | Starts: 12 | Appearances: 13 | Minutes: 1079 | Goals: 1 | Assists: 2

Player Profile

Michael Mad came to the club during the January transfer window, on loan from Austrian side Sturm Graz, where he captained their squad. Almost immediately he helped stabilize one of the worst defenses in the Championship. He may not be the tallest center back at just under 6’ / 181cm tall, but his steady and confident play belies his size. The 28 year old was a welcome addition to a side that leaked the third most goals in the Championship. He has two caps for the Austrian National team. On May 20th he made the move to SW6 permanent.

Created by Ben Lutz, Data from whoscored.com, Methodology by Ted Knutson via statsbomb.com

Season Review

Last season Madl made 13 appearances for the club, and scored his one and only goal when he headed in versus Charlton Athletic. Ostensibly brought to Craven Cottage with help from Tony Khan’s analytics department, Madl’s presence in the back line was a welcome addition to Fulham’s horrific defense, and he quickly became a fan favorite. He played nearly every match, up until he suffered an injury late in the season and missed the final few contests.

2016/17 Best Case

Madl should feature prominently next season in Slavisa’s revamped defensive line, whether the manager opts for three or four at the back. He has a calm and level headed demeanor that is a welcome change from the panicked and disorganized play we were so often forced to witness last year. He is strong in tackling and ball interception, and despite what some stats websites claim, he has been good with his head, both offensively and defensively. He should be one to watch next season.

Dan Burn

Rank: 9 | Age: 24 | Starts: 31 | Appearances: 35 | Minutes: 2831 | Goals: 0 | Assists: 2

Player Profile

Few players in recent memory have caused as much dissent among the fans as Big Dan Burn, and he ends up ranked in the middle of the pack for a reason: half the Fulham faithful loved his determination, grit, and passion for the club; the other half never stopped demanding his immediate transfer, and would have fought for the right to personally escort him out of the Cottage once and for all. The towering defender (6’7”/ 201cm) made his first team appearance for Fulham on January 4th, 2014, in the FA Cup third round against Norwich City at Carrow Road. He went on to make 35 appearances for the club last season, and made a total of 69 in a black and white kit. He was loaned out twice during his time with the club, once to Yeovil Town, and once to Birmingham City. The likely highlight of his Fulham career was the match against Manchester United on February 9th, 2014, where he made an astounding 22 clearances in a 2-2 draw against the Red Devils.

Created by Ben Lutz, Data from whoscored.com, Methodology by Ted Knutson via statsbomb.com

Season Review

Burn’s season was a mixed bag. On one hand, he earned three Man Of the Match awards. On the other hand, he was a linchpin in one of the worst defenses in the Championship. While his impressive height should have guaranteed won headers, he was never as effective as many thought he should be. His lack of pace and inconsistencies in defense came back to haunt the club more than once, often late in games. Our revolving door of coaches tried him at several different positions several different times, but in the end the writing was on the wall. Even so, in the last match against Bolton, Dan raced halfway down the pitch and let fly with a blistering rocket that missed by inches. No matter what you thought of Big Dan’s skills, no one can doubt his love of the club and his passion for the badge.

2016/17 Best Case

Just days after the end of last season, Dan Burn tweeted that his time at SW6 had come to an end. Reaction to the news was mixed, as might be expected, with equal parts elation and depression from the fans. But what cannot be denied is that Dan Burn gave his all to Fulham Football Club. We wish him the very best.