Editor’s note: The following is guest poster @themetaknight‘s solution to the major hole at right back currently facing Martin Jol. The hole at the striker spot has been much chronicled over the past few weeks as the transfer window opened, but the right back position is a much less talked about – and a much more difficult to monitor – situation. We’ve seen how right back is a very fickle position and they are often at the mercy of a manager’s preference, and with Fulham going through so many managers in the recent times, it’s been a position of little consistency. I would like to thank Nick a ton for putting in the hard work this post required.
The Fulham right back position has gone through many changes over the past couple of years. Under Roy Hodgson, John Pantsil was the man to run down the flanks and assist usually Damien Duff. Pantsil worked well until Hodgson left for new pastures and Mark Hughes stepped in, often suffering the calamities of own goals many times, resulting in Hughes dropping him and a contract not renewed. Chris Baird managed to step in and perform to a high standard for Hughes, getting himself two goals and a place on ‘The Times’ unsung first XI along with a certain Clint Dempsey. But another managerial change occurred with Martin Jol replacing Hughes, citing ‘ambition’ as his reason for his departure. In came Jol and out came, curiously, Chris Baird. Baird has disappeared since, only making a couple of cameo appearances, with rumours about that he’s having problems with personal life, etc. Jol brought in Zdenek Grygera, who quickly established himself in the team with the same role as Baird had done. But Grygera would soon suffer an awful ACL injury, ruling him out for the Euros and the season. Stephen Kelly, surprisingly, was the man sent in to step in for him and it remained this way as the season went on. Although Kelly improved as the season went on, it was still clear to us that new right back was needed. One who was younger, could develop more and would be there for a long time. So, without a doubt, I present you @themetaknight’s guide to the right back position for this summer
Danny Simpson has been an interesting option. Out of contract next summer, Simpson has refused to sign a new contract with Newcastle. Simpson has put in some good performances over the course of the season, including a crucial one for them against Manchester United at Old Trafford. However, despite these good performances, Simpson is likely to be offered out to other clubs, with Mathieu Debuchy likely to be his replacement. Simpson would cost around £3-5 million because of the time left on his contract.
Nathaniel Clyne. Heralded as the right back for the future and held in awe by Palace fans. Offensively and defensively good, Clyne’s talent is there to see and it is clear that he will become a star in the future. There just lies another problem though. Other clubs. Manchester United and Newcastle are all rumoured to be interested in him, with the latter said to have bid for the 18 year old, which Crystal Palace have fervently denied. It could be a big summer for the 18 year old either way, with premier league clubs sure to be looking at him and his talent.
Lorenzo De Silvestri
Lorenzo De Silvestri of Fiorentina was linked with us back in January at the same time that the Maxi Lopez rumours were abound, with lots of Italian reports claiming that a deal had been struck with the Italian side. De Silvestri has been touted as the next big thing for Italy’s right back position and has huge potential. However, at Fiorentina, De Silvestri has still not realized this potential and is stuck behind in the Fiorentina line-up. Is this man with potential worth the investment? I’d price him around £3-4 million.
Albin Ebondo, 28 years of age, plays for ASSE in ligue 1 after a transfer from Toulouse. Ebondo made 22 appearances last year for Saint-Etienne, getting two assists for the club. The French and Congolese dual citizen was linked with a move to Newcastle a couple of seasons ago, which collapsed. He’s now out of contract and available for a free. Is he worth a transfer? I think so.
So these are my suggestions for the right back position. But are they the ones who you would take? Or would you take someone else? Thanks all for reading and I will hopefully see you next time.