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2018 Fulham Player Profiles: Kevin McDonald

Let’s take a look at Fulham’s unofficial captain

Fulham v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship

Basic Stats: 45 appearances | 45 starts | 0 substitutions | 4,004 minutes | 3 goals | 1 assist

Economics: £1.35 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

Transfermarket Value Chart

From transfermarket.co.uk

CC Thoughts: Tom Cairney might be the one wearing the captain’s armband every matchday, but almost every player and supporter knows who the one true leader within the club really is. Kevin McDonald truly is the heart and soul of the club who is guaranteed to put in the hard yards to guide Fulham to victory. And when all eyes will be on the likes of Cairney, Aleksander Mitrovic, Ryan Sessegnon and Stefan Johansen creating chances and scoring goals, it is McDonald that is further behind supporting the back four and being the last cover in midfield.

It’s what he’s done his whole career. Whether he is at Dundee United, Burnley, Scunthorpe, Notts County, Sheffield United or Wolves, his role didn’t change. Pundits and “pundits” will tell you that he is too slow for the upper echelons of English football, but you know that McDonald will do his best to shove any opinions from his critics and put in a 110% hard-wording shift.

This season was no different, and even with some goals that will make you wonder if you could do it yourself, Fulham would not be in the Premier League without his services. Now he’s returning to the top flight for the first time since 2009/10. He wasn’t even 21 years old at the start of that campaign back when he was at Turf Moor and he struggled to build off of the 30 total appearances during that point in his career. But after going through League 1 and the Championship in between, McDonald will hope that all those years of finally building upon that hardship and experience will see through an excellent 2018/19.

Key Stat: 131 combined tackles and interceptions. As proof of his hard graft, no other Fulham player had more defensive contributions than the Scotsman. The next closest Cottager in this statistic is Ryan Fredericks with 115. If you really want to add to McDonald’s legend, consider that only Tim Ream had more blocked shots (32) than his 31. No other Fulham player had more than 21 blocked shots.

Your thoughts: So what say you about Mr. KMac? Where do you rate him in the hierarchy of most important Fulham players? Do you see him succeeding against better quality of competition now that he’s in the Premier League? And do you think that, despite turning 30 in November, Tony Kahn and Co. should do what it takes to give him a new contract before his current deal runs out? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.