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2018 Fulham Player Profiles: Matt Targett

Amazingly, he was Fulham’s second greatest transfer this season

Fulham v Leeds United - Sky Bet Championship

Basic Stats: 21 appearances | 20 starts | 1 substitution | 1,721 minutes | 1 goal | 2 assists

Economics: Six-month Loan from Southampton | Signed: 2018 | Contract Ends in Summer 2018

Stats by Seven-Game sequences

All data from whoscored.com

WhoScored Rating Chart

All data from whoscored.com

Radar

All data from whoscored.com

Transfermarket Value Chart

from transfermarket.co.uk

CC Thoughts: When Scott Malone left for Huddersfield Town the previous summer, it was thought that having Ryan Sessegnon or Denis Odoi as his successor would be a smooth transition. It turns out that was not the case as the two were either not playing well or looked out of position as to what Slavisa Jokanovic was requiring of them to perform. Along with that, Rafa Soares was not the solution at all to Fulham’s left back problem and the club were in real disarray as a result. Even when Fulham were starting to pick themselves back up after a torrid start to the campaign, there still needed to be a few pieces to the puzzle to be added.

Once Matt Targett joined the fold, everything seemed to be full for this Fulham XI. The back four seemed to be as balanced and stable as it has ever been in their three years in the Championship. Of Fulham’s 16 clean sheets, 11 of them came when Targett was starting. Now that is not to say that the Southampton loanee is the ultimate defensively minded fullback. However, he brought a steady presence that allowed Sessegnon to bomb forward while playing our wide on the left-hand side of the pitch. And unlike many of Fulham’s other players, Targett became a threat off of crossing the ball with a 26.9% success rate. Along with that, Targett ended up becoming one of Fulham’s go-to corner kick takers ans was able to complete 18 of his 38 attempts from such situations.

While Targett was never one to grab the headlines with goals, lovely assists or bombing runs, Targett added elements that the club were lacking. With his presence on the pitch, Fulham became whole and he was among the many reasons Fulham gained promotion back to the Premier League.

Did I mention that Targett was able to do all this while still being 22 years old? Now things will be tricky to get him back to Craven Cottage. Southampton may be looking for Targett to start at left back if Ryan Bertrand were to decide to leave the club that finished just inches from relegation last season. This is why the rumors of locking up Swedish International Ludwig Augustinsson are very high.

Despite this, Matt Targett and his efforts should be remembered in the hearts Fulham supporters for seasons to come.

Key Stat: 1.52 successful crosses per 90 minutes. Just as further evidence to how much his crossing ability has gone unnoticed, Targett’s rate of successful crosses is almost double the rate of Fulham’s next best option in this category. That would be Stefan Johansen at 0.74 successful crosses per 90 minutes.

Your thoughts: Let’s assume for the sake of this exercise, Augustinsson doesn’t join Fulham after all. If that ends up happening, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we would all like Matt Targett to sign a permanent deal with Fulham. If so, how much should Fulham offer to get him out of Southampton’s books? Do you think he has what it takes to take his game up to another level? If so, what else does he need to improve on? Let us know on the comment section below.