Kalas returns to Fulham

by Dan on July 27, 2017

Tomas Kalas has signed on for a second successive season at Craven Cottage after finalising another loan from Chelsea, Fulham confirmed this lunchtime.

The announcement ends a protracted set of summer negotiations to Slavisa Jokanovic’s satisfication with the Czech international centre back rejecting serious interest from Hull, Middlesbrough and Besiktas to opt for another year with Fulham. The 24 year-old defender, so impressive at the heart of Fulham’s rejigged defence as the Whites reached the Championship play-off semi-finals last term, will hope to secure another promotion to the Premier League this year, having already reached the top flight in a previous loan stint on Teesside.

The return of Kalas, who made 36 league appearances last season, will solidify Jokanovic’s defensive options with the league opener against Norwich now days away. The Czech international, who had made public his desire to stay with Fulham, may feature in Saturday’s friendly against Wolfsburg – and his popularity, both amongst his team-mates and Fulham fans, is not in doubt. It also represents a serious coup for Jokanovic as he plots another tilt at the top of the Championship.

Fulham vice chairman and director of football operations, Tony Khan, told the club’s official website:

It’s a pleasure to welcome Tomas Kalas back to the Fulham Football Club. We appreciate Tomas so much after the way that he battled for us last season, demonstrating not only tremendous skill but also great heart and determination. We’re very excited to have him here again as one of us as we prepare for our next battle, and what we hope will be a great season!

{ 0 comments }

Tonight Fulham have announced the loan signing of Oliver Norwood from Brighton and Hove Albion, meaning that the midfielder joins a long list of fellow Northern Irish men to play for the Whites. The deal will see him stay at the Cottage for the duration of the 2017/18 season in search of first team football after being told that his chances at Brighton may be limited. Norwood played a key part in Albion’s promotion winning campaign last season so it is surprising that they have let him go as I think he would have went on to be a consistent performer there. To say that I’m pleased with this addition to the squad would be an understatement as I have been an admirer of the midfielder and his style of play for a long time. Below is an article that I wrote back in March for the match day programme of Northern Ireland based club, Lisburn Distillery. I was focusing on a different member of the Northern Ireland squad in each article so I hope that you can excuse the Northern Irish focus throughout!

Oliver Norwood- written March, 2017

“For my player focus this week I will be looking at solid and dependable midfielder, Oliver Norwood. The Burnley born midfielder has represented both England and Northern Ireland at youth level but committed to Northern Ireland in 2009. Since making his debut in 2010, Norwood has made himself a regular in the Northern Ireland squad and has gained 43 caps to date.

Norwood started his career at Manchester United and made a bit of a name for himself as a free kick specialist during his time at the youth academy there. He eventually made the step up the reserves in 2009 and in the same year was called up to the first team squad for a Champions League fixture against Wolfsburg away but didn’t make the final squad of 18. It was still a sure sign of Alex Ferguson’s confidence in Norwood and the midfielder was offered a contract extension in 2012, but he decided to reject it in favour of finding regular first team football elsewhere.

His first permanent move away from Old Trafford was to Huddersfield Town where he played consistently for two years before making a further move to fellow Championship side Reading. Again Norwood was a regular feature in a side with their sights set on Premier League Promotion and his performances there and for the National side prompted a move to Brighton and Hove Albion in the summer of 2016.

The move to Brighton shows that as Norwood becomes more experienced he is continually moving on to bigger challenges. When he joined Huddersfield in 2012, they were very much a side aiming for survival after gaining promotion into the Championship the year before. Reading was a step up, a team aiming to finish top half while Brighton, just missing out on promotion last year, are a club with high hopes this season. They are currently battling it out for top spot with Newcastle and I would be very surprised if they weren’t playing in the Premier League next season allowing Norwood the opportunity to step up again.

I watched Brighton recently play against Fulham at Craven Cottage and, despite Fulham being the better team on the day, it was Brighton who came away with 3 points with a real ‘smash and grab’ effort. Norwood played all 90 minutes in a game where the midfield had to be very alert defensively. That, along with other performances this season, proves that Norwood can play successfully in a team that might find themselves under the cosh at times, but that can still gain positive results. Northern Ireland are not going to be a team that dominate a lot of games. Our system under O’Neill has been built on the foundation of a solid defence and a midfield that are going to have to do an awful lot of pressing and Norwood can fit very well into this system.

At only 25, there is a lot more to come from Oliver Norwood. The partnership that he has formed with Davis has been crucial in the national side set up and I believe that if he continues to learn from Davis and gets his chance in the Premier League next season, Norwood could play a pivotal role in our team for many campaigns to come.”

Fulham have had a lot of success with players from the Emerald Isle before now with the likes of Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird becoming firm fan favourites, and I am confident that Norwood can continue the trend. His hard-working approach along with his eye for a pass should fit soundly into an already very strong midfield and I fully expect him to be a success at the Cottage.

#COYW

{ 0 comments }

Norwood completes Fulham loan move

July 25, 2017

Tweet Fulham have tonight confirmed that they have taken Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Oliver Norwood on a season-long loan deal. The Northern Ireland midfielder has opted to drop down a division to secure the regular football that should sustain his international career rather than test himself in the Premier League for the first time. […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Norwood agrees to join Fulham on loan

July 24, 2017

Tweet Oliver Norwood has agreed to join Fulham from Brighton and Hove Albion on a season-long loan subject to a successful medical, according to Sky Sports News. The Northern Ireland midfielder has prioritised first-team football ahead of a long-awaited taste of the Premier League in order to sustain his international career. Norwood is expected to […]

0 comments Read the full article →

How to solve a problem like Diego

July 24, 2017

Tweet For the past two weeks or so, Fulham’s transfer activity has been dominated by one man in Diego Rolan, with the 24-year-old Uruguayan international at the centre of a ‘will he, won’t he’ transfer saga. Fulham reportedly agreed a £5million deal with current club Bordeaux back on July, 16th but with this fee much […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Fulham ready to offer £3m for Jerome

July 24, 2017

Tweet Fulham are readying a £3m bid for Norwich City forward Cameron Jerome as they move to bring in additional striking options after Slavisa Jokanovic slated their slow summer business. The Mirror reports this morning that the Cottagers have turned their attention to the former Stoke and Birmingham City striker after first-choice target Diego Rolan […]

1 comment Read the full article →

Ojo set to join Fulham on loan

July 23, 2017

Tweet Liverpool winger Sheyi Ojo is poised to join Fulham on loan this week, according to a report in this morning’s Sun on Sunday. The 20 year-old has been the subject of considerable interest, although a permanent deal with newly-promoted Newcastle has fallen through. The England Under-20 winger, who helped his country win the World […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Pre-season ‘complicated’ by lack of signings, says Jokanovic

July 23, 2017

Tweet Slavisa Jokanovic appeared to suggest last night that Fulham’s failure to make more summer signings has severely hampered his preparation for the start of the Championship season. The Serbian head coach, speaking to Fulham’s own website following the conclusion of the club’s mini summer tour to Austria and Germany, admitted that his squad had […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Fredericks finds net as Fulham draw with Darmstadt

July 22, 2017

Tweet Ryan Fredericks starred as Fulham drew their penultimate pre-season friendly with SV Darmstadt in Germany this afternoon. The Fulham full-back scored a terrific goal, but Slavisa Jokanovic’s side were pegged back for the second time in the contest as the Whites had to settle for an entertaining draw. The Serbian head coach opted for […]

0 comments Read the full article →

Whites join race for Obita

July 21, 2017

Tweet Fulham are one of four Championship clubs who have registered an interest in recruiting Reading full-back Jordan Obita, according to a report in today’s Sun. Slavisa Jokanovic is keen to strengthen his options at left back following the sale of Scott Malone to newly-promoted Huddersfield Town for a fee that could rise to £5m. […]

0 comments Read the full article →