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2018 Fulham Player Reviews: Neeskens Kebano

Will Kebano be able to receive playing time in 2019?

Fulham v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying the World Cup and a summer in which we can hope and dream about Fulham’s prospects in the Premier League. But as we are doing all that, let’s look back at all those that contributed towards the club’s promotion last season. We started the series by looking at those that played less than 1,000 minutes for Fulham, and now we get into the nitty-gritty with the more prominent contributors. First up is Neeskens Kebano.

Basic Stats: 27 appearances | 10 starts | 17 substitutions | 1,083 minutes | 3 goals | 3 assists

Economics: £4 million Transfer Fee | Signed: 2016 | Contract Ends in 2019 w/ a club option

Stats by Seven-Game sequences

All data from whoscored.com

WhoScored Rating Chart

All data from whoscored.com

Radar

All data from whoscored.com

Goals vs. Expected Goals

from experimental361.com

Transfermarket Value Chart

from transfermarket.co.uk

CC Thoughts: In the beginning, it seemed like Neeskens Kebano would be off to having a solid season with Fulham. The 26-year old Congolese International started in five of the club’s first eight league appearances, but as Ryan Sessegnon began to take hold of the left wing spot, his playing time began to dwindle. Kebano only had one full 90-minute appearance and that was in the first game of the entire Championship campaign against Norwich. Once Lucas Piazon regained to full fitness, any chance of him becoming a full-fledged started anywhere across the pitch.

His last start would be on December 9th in the 1-0 win over Birmingham at Craven Cottage. Since that time period, Kebano began to garner a reputation of a super-sub despite Slavisa Jokanovic unwilling to play him. In Fulham’s final 28 fixtures, Kebano appeared just 10 times for a grand total of 238 minutes. But in that short amount of game time, he took full advantage of his role by putting up a higher rate of shots (4.54 per 90 minutes v. 2.24) and key passes (2.27 per 90 minutes v. 0.53) than when he did starting.

Along with that, Kebano was a major contributor by assisting in key Ryan Sessegnon goals in two Fulham wins. The first was to jump start the club in a 4-1 win over Ipswich at Craven Cottage and the latter was to put the cherry on top of a 3-1 win at Barnsley. While Kebano may not be a definitive member of Jokanovic’s team sheet as the club are looking towards the Premier League fixture list, to call him a useless piece to Fulham’s puzzle is quite an inaccurate statement as well.

Key Stat: 3.66 combined tackles and interceptions per 90 minutes. Only Oliver Norwood is better among key Fulham players than Kebano in defensive contributions with his 3.78 per 90 minutes rate. That being said, Kebano’s numbers on that end of the pitch declined to non-existence by the time he was more-so coming off the bench. Wheteher that is completely to do with providing cover for Ryan Sessegnon when he joined the attack is something to be observed in the long term if it were to continue.

Your thoughts: With all that being said, what are your thoughts on Neeskens? Do you think Jokanovic was wrong to stop playing him and do you see Kebano as a key contributor for Fulham or any other top-flight club? Don’t be shy to post your comments below.