If you have been following social media, the rumors of right-back Ryan Fredericks leaving the club for Premier League ventures has been quite strong for a while. The 25-year old is at the peak of his powers and, regardless of whether Fulham was promoted or not, wanted to be paid his worth by the football club. There was no denying Fredericks was that valuable in Slavisa Jokanovic’s system as he was, by far, Fulham’s most lethal weapon down the right-hand channel.
That being said, Tom Cairney, Kevin McDonald, Stefan Johansen and Ryan Sessegnon are the bigger stars of the club and Fredericks wanted to be paid like them or better. That just wasn’t going to happen, especially if promotion wasn’t going to be guaranteed. But now that the club are back in the Premier League, you would have thought that flirtations with going to Swansea City back in January were a thing of the past and that Fulham would not want to let someone go on the last year of his previous contract. Instead, Fredericks signed with a new agency and then became new manager Manuel Pellegrini’s first ever signing for his tenure via a four-year contract.
West Ham were infamous for being way too old and thus played a slow and bland style of football under Slaven Bilic and David Moyes last campaign. With Fredericks, there is no denying the Hammers will become a faster unit, especially across the back four. That being said, will Pellegrini only use Fredericks as cover for the aging Pablo Zabaleta or will they deploy him as an out-and-out wingback in some three-center-back formation? While it is not certain how much Fredericks will be paid, he was valued at £3.6 million according to transfermarket.com.
The only thing that is certain is that Ryan Fredericks played such a massive part for Fulham during his three seasons with the club and developed into one of the best attacking fullbacks in the Championship as a result. Whether this was the best decision for the player will be determined in the near future, but we must all respect getting the opportunity to get paid such a massive increase in compensation at a time in his career where it might be his only chance to do so. Any other human being in any other profession would do the same thing.
Instead of never forgiving the man for “turning his back to the club that made him special”, let’s all celebrate what he accomplished for Fulham and hope the rest of his footballing future stays as bright as it has been...except for when he plays against us.