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2018 Fulham Player Profiles: Stefan Johansen

Will the divisive midfielder get his chance to prove himself in the Premier League?

Norwich City v Fulham - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Basic Stats: 48 appearances | 46 starts | 2 substitutions | 3,883 minutes | 8 goals | 9 assists

Economics: £2.07 million Transfer Fee | Signed: 2016 | Contract Ends in Summer 2019 plus a 1-year 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: If anything else, this was not a boring season for Stefan Johansen. In spite of his critics, the man known as “StefJo” still led the club in assists and key passes. However, those same group of people will tell you that he was getting beaten like a drum in defense ( and there is data to back that up), his not-so-great-dribbling-to-begin-with got even worse and his shot map looked more wayward than in season’s past.

Then again, think of the roles he had to play in 2017/18. Johansen basically had to be the engine of Fulham’s midfield when Tom Cairney was out injured. Along with that, there were all those fixtures where somebody thought it was a good idea to have him play at center forward. [shivers]

But once the defeat to Sunderland was out of everyone’s system, let alone Johansen’s, you saw a much more confident midfielder who was his usual dominant self throughout the rest of the season. In the last 28 contests, the Norwegian National Team captain had four goals, eight of his nine total assists and have his dribbling rate nearly triple during that same time frame (0.56 per 90 minutes the first 21 games vs. 1.42 per 90 minutes the next 28).

Also, it is quite difficult to imagine where Fulham would have been without some of Johansen’s critical goals. Among them include the end-to-end run that finished with a chip over Neil Etheridge to seal a great win at Cardiff City in December as well as the clinching goal that would seal three points at Queen’s Park Rangers back in October. Fulham supporters won’t also forget the performance he had against Norwich City where he seemed to just anger every Canaries player on the pitch with his antics and score on them in the same game.

In short, StefJo can get a bad rap sometimes. He can look a bit lethargic as a box-to-box midfielder and Jean-Michael Seri will be an absolute upgrade over him in the coming season. However, that doesn’t discount the fact that Johansen will be a valuable member to Fulham in 2018/19. As long as the club are not making any transfers, all hands will have to be on deck for a senior squad that is still quite shallow. Any major performances by Johansen this upcoming season will surely turn his reputation around. If not, Fulham might be in a spot of bother.

Key Stat: 32.0% tackling success rate. It’s one thing to have this stat as a forward hoping to win the ball back in the press by over-committing. But if your a central midfielder in hopes of relieving the duties of your back four and Kevin McDonald, this is not a pretty statistic to have. There’s a reason Seri joined Fulham and boy would they be happy to see what a real box-to-box midfielder in the upper echelons of European football can do.

Your thoughts: So what do you say about StefJo? Do you think he’s gotten a bad rap or is his criticism justified? What type of role do you see him having in 2018/19? Will he even be impressive coming off the bench? Give us your thoughts on Mr. Johansen in the comment section below.