On Friday morning Fulham confirmed the signing of 23-year-old Belgian central midfielder Ibrahima Cisse, who joined for an undisclosed fee. Cisse, who can also play at right back, signed a three year deal with an option to extend a further year.
According to the club website, Cisse made 27 appearances last season for Belgian side Standard Liege, including competing (and scoring) in the Europa League. He has also featured in the Belgian international set-up, with numerous caps for the Belgian Under-21s under his belt.
The signing looks to be a shrewd acquisition that will provide much-needed cover to fill the voids in the fullback and midfield position, caused by the departures of Scott Malone and Scott Parker.
The arrival of Cisse comes amid a busy week for Fulham. The club signed Spanish centre-half Marcelo Djaló last week, as well as securing key contract extensions for captain Tom Cairney and teenage sensations Ryan and Steven Sessegnon.
There were also high-profile departures from SW6, as Jozabed, Malone, Parker, and Richard Stearman all left the club.
However, the buoyant mood around Craven Cottage was soured by a recent report out of the Daily Mirror that claimed manager Slavisa Jokanovic was again unhappy at the club’s transfer policy. Such reports are nothing new, with tabloid stories claiming Slavisa is unsettled have been a constant fixture during the Serbian’s time at Fulham.
The report alleged that Slavisa issued a “back me or sack me” ultimatum; yet such reports must be taken with a grain of salt. These allegations come from the same paper that heavily linked Jokanovic with the Werder Bremen job and numerous other rumours over the past year.
No matter what the tabloids say, Fulham’s transfer season has been a smashing success so far. The futures of Fulham’s brightest players have been secured for the long term, and the club is already hard at work securing new recruits that add to the club’s strength in numbers. Transfers such as Cisse and Djaló could prove vital next season during a promotion push; all that is missing now is a quality striker.