As Fulham are in the midst of an International Break, a breather can be among the supporters all around while the players and coaching staff continue working the kinks of their system in their Spain training camp. Plenty has happened within the past month. The club has had the most lavish transfer window in their history and it was able to collect their first points in its first season back into the Premier League. That doesn’t discount the fact that, while some players have come in and taken their places, plenty of others have left the club for supposedly greener pastures. Let’s take a look at who they all are on the whole and where they stand with their new surroundings.
G David Button - Brighton & Hove Albion
D Ryan Fredericks - West Ham United
F Cauley Woodrow - Barnsley
For this trio, it is “Bon Voyage” for good. While I do say that some will have differing opinions on each of these three players, it’s difficult to not ignore that they had an impact on Fulham during their time here.
For Ryan Fredericks, he was the one consistent attacking outlet that Slavisa Jokanovic can depend upon. For David Button, it looked like at first that he would be the answer in goal as the club were trying to get promoted, but to no avail. Lastly, Cauley Woodrow seemed to be another future star for years to come from that famous 2013/14 Under-18 side along with Patrick Roberts, Moussa Dembele and Lasse Vigen Christensen, but to no avail just like the rest of them. Woodrow’s transfer is a unique one in that he is currently on loan until January, then his transfer becomes permanent for an undisclosed fee and contract length afterwards.
Nowadays, you would be mostly seeing Button waiting for his turn at Brighton while Matt Ryan is still occupying the number one position between the posts. As for Fredericks, it has looked like he’s burned enough bridges after three poor performances that Pablo Zabaleta, all 33 years old of him, has taken his place instead. But hey, Fredericks arrived on a free transfer, so his arrival doesn’t hurt West Ham in the slightest
Finally, Woodrow is just getting acclimated to Oakwell after starting the season at Fulham’s PL2 squad. This is a massive drop off to four years ago when he scored on his Premier League debut in the last game of Fulham’s 2013/14 season before they were relegated. Even if there is a stronger chance of getting more game time, it will be difficult for Woodrow to usurp someone like Kieffer Moore who has already scored six goals in as many appearances down in League 1. However, if manager Daniel Standel continues to deploy a 4-4-2 formation instead of a 4-3-3 at the start of the season, Woodrow’s opportunities will increase.
G Marek Rodak - Rotherham United
G Magnus Norman - Rochdale
D Marcelo Djalo - Extremadura
M Tayo Edun - Ipswich Town
M Jon Dugar Thorsteinsson - Vendsyssel
F Stephen Humphrys - Scunthorpe United
F Rui Fonte - Lille
F Elijah Adebayo - Swindon Town
While the permanent losses are few, the list of players leaving Craven Cottage on loan are much greater. This comes as no surprise as the vast majority on this list are those within Fulham’s academy hoping to receive valuable experience playing first-team football elsewhere. However, if you are someone within the senior team going out on loan, that might as well be the kiss of death on any chance of returning to play for the club.
Unfortunately, that is looking like the case for both Marcelo Djalo and Rui Fonte. Djalo came in as more of a 22-year old project hoping to come good as he arrived from the second tier of Spanish club football. The fact that he is going to a club that is also in Spain’s Segunda Division bluntly shows how little he has improved at Fulham and how little chance he has of playing under Jokanovic now that Alfie Mawson and Calum Chambers have arrived. As for Fonte, he came in with a solid pedigree from Portugal’s top flight, but his statistical outlook was quite dire for his age and how it would translate in the English game. Add in the fact that he was selected out wide for little explanation by Jokanovic in 2017/18 and you wondered if he was ever valued at the club. Both players were definitions of “Craig Kline purchases” and both are looking like they are being shown the door now that the former data analyst is no longer at the club.
On the other side, let’s talk about the kids! If anything, loan moves can actually be quite exciting as it is an opportunity to see what their genuinely worth against the same quality of opposition that Fulham tends to go up against, even if it is for the occasional League or FA Cup competition.
With that in mind, it is great to see both Tayo Edun and Marek Rodak have their opportunities in the Championship with Ipswich and Rotherham, respectively. This season is Rodak’s second straight campaign in which he has been the Millers’ number one while he awaits his turn being second in line at Fulham. But with the logjam in goal thanks to the arrivals of Fabri and Sergio Rico and the everpresent “win-now” mentality surrounding the club, it made most sense for Rodak to keep getting game time somewhere else instead of slogging it down at the PL2 level. As for Edun, he started his Ipswich career with a bang thanks to a last minute goal against rivals Norwich City as a substitute. Since then, the England Under-19 International has played 161 total league minutes under Paul Tisdale while he’s trying to find his best formation for the club. For Edun’s development, it would be nice to see Tisdale trot out a 4-2-3-1 formation while playing next to Trevoh Chalabah as a double pivot in midfield. However, it’s also not a good look at Ipswich’s end to bank on a 19 and 20 year-old to be in charge of box-to-box play and expect results as well. Either way, it will be interesting to see what comes of Edun by season’s end.
Down in League One, Stephen Humphrys is back scoring goals but this time for Scunthorpe United. With him out on a year-long loan, the soon-to-be 21 year-old is hoping to improve upon his previous loan spells with Rochdale and Shrewsbury Town. Speaking of Rochdale, that is where you’ll find Magnus Norman, who is looking to compete with Josh Lillis for the club’s number one position after finishing just 20th in the league the previous campaign.
Lastly, Elijah Adebayo returns to League Two but down at Swindon Town, with two goals in six league appearances already into his account. Rounding out the loan signees is Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson, who is moving to greener pastures for the first time over at Denmark’s Superliga with Vendsyssel. After totaling six goals and three assists in 1,641 PL2 minutes in 2017/18, it would be great to see what the Icelandic Under-21 International can do at senior level.