Finally, Fulham Football club announced the signing of Belgian defender, Denis Odoi yesterday despite the player agreeing terms on a deal last Thursday.
While it may have taken a little longer than planned to agree a fee, Denis Odoi joins the club on a three year deal with an option of a fourth year. Prior to his move to Craven Cottage, the full-back stated that he discussed a potential move to the club with former midfielder, Mousa Dembele, who could only say good things about the fans, claiming a 'feel good, family feeling around the club' - I guess it's always nice to get a glowing reference from your former stars, even if Mousa's departure was emotional for most.
Odoi is a full-back that we have been crying out for for the past 18 or so months. The Belgian can play on either side of a back four, and while he may be right-footed he is more comfortable playing as a left-back, a position in which he made his own at Lokeren. While, the defender may be relatively unknown to many fans, he has a strong pedigree and has played for Anderlecht, a title-winning side in Belgium which are still quite the unpredictable side in European competition.
With Odoi possessing natural pace and technical ability, slotting into Jokanovic's ideas and philosophies shouldn't be a problem for the new arrival. With Jokanovic ensuring that his high-press possession based style is fixed into the minds of everyone, Odoi's natural game will help him make that transition much easier. Beating K.A.A Gent to his signature, I get the feeling that Denis will be the surprise package next season - being an unknown name, the player arrives with no pressure on his shoulders and should be able to play his game without too much criticism or attention.
Rumours continue to float around the club about potential departures, and more recently it is Newcastle United who are interested in a deal for Fernando Amorebieta. While this may be a surprise to many Fulham fans, Benitez would know Nando well from his many different management roles in Spain. While, Amorebieta may not have impressed the majority of Fulham fans, he is still considered quite the enforcer in Spanish football and with the reports suggesting he is preferring a move to Sporting Gijon, there is still a possibility that Fulham could play against the Venezuelan on the opening day of the season.
Sadly, the latest set of reports don't sound too promising surrounding a deal for Kevin McDonald from Wolves. It seems like the player and his agent have once again played kiss chase with Fulham, with the club struggling to agree personal terms with the midfielder despite agreeing a fee with Wolves. The player is now set to go on pre-season tour with his club, which would in turn, delay any potential deal with Fulham due to the excess travel that would be involved for further talks and any potential medical. I do believe, Kevin's future will become more clear once the new owners of Wolves are officially announced, but I'd rather see a deal finalised sooner rather than later. Although, it's not all doom and gloom, if Ale Faurlin can prove his fitness we would be signing another technically gifted midfielder, who would join the club on a free transfer.
In all honesty, Fulham have been linked with a move for Brentford goalkeeper, David Button but I can't see this deal going through unfortunately, and if it did it would probably ask more questions than it would answer. With Marcus Bettinelli still developing and becoming a better goalkeeper by each passing game, signing Button would only halt Betts' progression. If Fulham were going to sign a goalkeeper this summer, then the signing should be experienced or a big-money signing that would be a significant upgrade on Betts, but I can't see that happening. With the right training and further development on certain aspects of his game, Bettinelli can become a dominating presence in this league and while some may question his game, his return from injury last season had a big influence on our end of season form.
My only fear with the current squad is still our lack of width, should new signings Floyd Ayite and Sone Aluko get suspended or injured. While they are both two very good signings, we will need natural width and attacking talent to rotate for cups or as a backup plan, so the structure of the team doesn't have to change too drastically should luck not be on Fulham's side.
Just a heads up, I am away this weekend (for once I'm taking a holiday!) so there won't be another article this weekend. Although, I have treated you all to three posts this week aha!
Finally, I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the feedback and supportive messages that I have received since running this blog - I'm honestly so flattered and thankful for your ongoing support. Since starting The Craven Corner two and a half years ago, I never thought it would be received in the way it has been. There are some plans for the blog for the 2nd half of the year, so keep an eye out as you may be seeing more content in the near future.
Thank you for reading - Please feel free to tweet your thoughts to me @ABronsSmith.
If you have missed any of 'The Craven Corner' posts you can catch up on the links below: