Well, it would seem that, barring anything crazy last minute (which is certainly possible given the craziness already having taken place), Fulham are done with their deals for the January transfer window. It’s been a crazy day, so I thought I’d put everything down here in one place for your viewing pleasure.
Completed deals IN:
-Urby Emanuelson: Season-long loan, probably no option to buy
The 26-year-old Dutch international was an expected deal, as he’d fallen out of the Starting XI at AC Milan and was looking for first-team action until the possible sale of Robinho in the summer, which would give him a bit more of a shot at the first team. Emanuelson is capable at left back, but even better at left wing or attacking midfield. He’s a very versatile player. Read more about him here.
-Stanislav Manolev: season-long loan with option to buy on 2-year deal
Manolev joins Fulham on a very low-risk deal from PSV Eindhoven. The right-back provides cover for Sascha Riether, something Martin Jol specifically mentioned was on his wish list yesterday after the West Ham match. Manolev didn’t get very good reviews from what I saw on Twitter, but that’s not a massive issue, because he’s only a squad player at this point and only really has to be better than Stephen Kelly to be successful.
-Eyong Enoh: season-long loan with option to buy on 2-year deal
It hasn’t been confirmed by the club yet, but reports are abound that it’s a done deal. The defensive midfielder comes from Ajax, where he’s made 88 league appearances (149 overall). He’s from Cameroon, and came to Ajax from their feeder club in Cape Town. He’s hardly played for Ajax this season, just making 3 league appearances (2 as a sub), and 4 in the Champions League (3 as a sub).
UPDATE: Confirmed by Ajax, nothing from Fulham yet
ANOTHER UPDATE: Fulham now confirms.
Completed deals OUT:
Failed deals IN:
Maarten Stekelenburg – In one of the craziest stories from Deadline Day, Stekelenburg had long been linked with Fulham ever since he’d been dropped to second-string at Roma. Reports were abound saying he’d completed his move to Fulham, and had gotten on a flight to London earlier today. However, apparently Roma was banking on replacing Stek with Emiliano Viviano from Fiorentina. Let’s pause for a moment – what’s the connection with Fiorentina and Fulham? That’s correct, Dimitar Berbatov was set to go to Fiorentina, before he decided not to board a plane and instead went to Fulham! Remember how angry they were? Fast forward to today. Stek’s about to head to London to complete the deal, when low and behold, Fiorentina back out of the Viviano deal less than a half hour before the Italian window closed, leaving Roma high and dry on a backup and forcing them to cancel their deal with Fulham for Stekelenburg. Unfortunately for the big Dutchman, he’d already taken off, despite his current side’s attempts to catch him before he left, so he flew to London for nothing. Revenge by Fiorentina? Possibly. But also what it seems a bit of poor planning and also poor form by Roma to cancel the deal once it’d pretty much been agreed to. Fulham can’t catch a break with Italian football (more on that later).
Tom Huddlestone – Both Martin Jol and Andre Villas-Boas confirmed yesterday that Fulham were in the mix for Huddlestone, but Jol said he’d been trying for 5 weeks now and nothing had happened, so he wasn’t optimistic. It seemed the deal had a chance to be completed today, but Huddlestone ultimately wasn’t up for the move to SW6, and then Fulham reportedly went all-in for a foreign striker, and the Huddlestone deal had to be sacrificed to provide the money. That striker was rumored to be…
Bafetimbi Gomis – A name who briefly popped up on Deadline Day in the summer as well, reports flew around today as well that Gomis was on Fulham’s wish list, and they threw everything they had at him, sacrificing the chance at Tom Huddlestone. I find it interesting how everything is connected. The rumors just kind of died out, didn’t hear much about it after the initial reports.
Nikola Maksimovic – There have been reports that the young Yugoslavian central defender had been signing with Fulham, but a last-minute attempt at a work permit failed, scuttling the deal. Unfortunate, as Maksimovic has featured well at Red Star Belgrade and, at only 21, could have had a good future at Fulham as a long-term replacement for an aging bunch had he played well. We need CB depth badly.
Failed transfers OUT:
Chris Baird – West Bromwich Albion had been talking to Baird most of the day, but nothing materialized for whatever reason. Good, because we need all the midfielders we can get. Don’t want the Bairdinho headed elsewhere! I also think West Brom may have had their attention elsewhere……(*cough*Odemwingie*cough*).
Pajtim Kasami – Another ridiculous story out of the Deadline Day mayhem, apparently Kasami was on his way to make a permanent transfer to Pescara in Italy, but the paperwork failed to arrive in time because of faulty hotel internet and the window closed in Italy. For whatever reason Italian soccer teams can’t get better than hotel internet. Unfortunate for Kasami, who’s unhappy with his lack of playing time under Martin Jol. This was no more obvious (and a little depressing) when he tweeted just a bit ago:
Why is everything going against me…—
Pajtim Kasami (@PajtimKasami) January 31, 2013
It’s depressing because Kasami seems like a hard-working kid who just wants to get a chance. He’s shown a good deal of promise in his little time at Fulham, but I can understand him being frustrated at Jol not giving him a chance. We’ll see if he gets loaned somewhere.
Fulham got a very highly-rated versatile lefthand player in Emanuelson, a backup right back, and a relatively unproven defensive midfielder. The positive? They’re all well under 30. The negative? There’s still holes at goalkeeper and striker, and the midfield’s still a bit thin. Don’t forget though that we did also get Frimpong a few days ago. The squad is still thin, but 4 signings in January helps a whole lot. Also don’t forget Chris David, who signed in the beginning and will probably be an important piece in the future.
Also, stay tuned to my Twitter account for more information as the window closes. Most journalists saying Enoh is the last of Fulham’s signings, but you never know! Especially with Stekelenburg stuck in London for the night…