It seems the most likely options to shore up Fulham’s bone-dry strike options have been made known. Martin Jol reportedly fancies bringing Hugo Rodallega and Burak Yilmaz to Fulham, in moves which for the most part would make the attack once again prolific at Craven Cottage. Neither have been locked down yet, and both are just rumors, but this certainly seems a case of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”
Certainly the more exciting of the two, the current Trabzonspor front man is on his way out, and Fulham are one of two options he’s considering, along with Serie A’s Lazio. The Turk has scored a whopping 55 goals in 75 appearances with Trabzonspor in the Super Lig, including an incredible 32 goals in just 30 appearances this past season, along with 9 assists. At 6’2″, Here’s the lowdown:
Yilmaz was originally to be dealt to Lazio. They had all but agreed on pretty much everything they needed to agree on. In fact, Yilmaz was even quoted with saying the following:
I know that Trabzonspor and Lazio are still talking but I believe the outcome of these talks will be positive.To this I cannot say the deal is finished but I’m 80% sure that next season I will be playing in Italy. Within days I hope this should be finalised.
However, there was one problem: the €5 million release clause in the Turk’s contract. It was already agreed that Lazio would cover the cost, but how they would do so is what they’re balking at. The Italian side wants to pay the 5 mil in four different installments, whereas his current club want it all in one lump sum. This hiccup could potentially kill the deal.
So, Yilmaz and his agent have traveled to Fulham, where they have reportedly come to a complete contract agreement. Now, everything hinges on whether Lazio and Trabzonspor can agree on how to pay his release clause. If so, that’s where he’ll end up. However, if they can’t agree and the deal completely falls through, it seems Fulham have him locked down. Tottenham are also supposedly involved in the chase, but at this point it seems they’re a distant third.
Whether Fulham are legitimate contenders or Yilmaz’s agent is using them as leverage against Lazio remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a promising prospect.
Rumored to be coming on a free transfer, Rodallega’s contract with Wigan is up and he’s been involved with Fulham in the past. The Columbian was set to come to Craven Cottage as recent as this January, in a switch for Andy Johnson plus cash, but AJ scuttled the deal after refusing to head north.
He came to Wigan in 2009, and has scored 24 goals for them, making him their all-time Premier League goalscorer. He’s often played as more of a left winger than a central striker, and if both these deals were to go through successfully, a combination of Ruiz and Rodallega on the wings with Yilmaz in the middle could be deadly.
Funny note about Rodallega that I found: according to his Wikipedia page, he played goalkeeper for a few minutes during the end of an international match against Venezuela after first string keeper Robinson Zapata received a red card and Colombia had no more available substitutes. Best part – he kept the clean sheet!
Like I said earlier, with Rodallega and Ruiz on the wings, Yilmaz up front, and Sa and Petric on the bench as options, striker would be a position of strength at Fulham in my opinion. Here’s my only concern: with the fates of Clint Dempsey and Moussa Dembele still hanging in the balance, if Martin Jol shores up the goalscoring options too quickly, he may actually be missing out on a few opportunities. Let’s say even one of those two Fulham stars end up being sold. Jol would receive a great deal of cash that he would be able to turn around and use to purchase a replacement. However, with the striker position completed already, there would be no room to then purchase an even better option to a guy like Rodallega let’s say. We’ll see how it maps out, but all in all, these are two promising options to directly bring goals to the club not only next season but beyond as well.