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There seems to be a growing realisation that Clint Dempsey is one of Fulham’s most important players. In the comments below, Lydia was saying that watching the highlights from Thursday’s game she was struck by just how important keeping Dempsey would be.

That’s why this is such great news. Predictably, the Sun leads with more Hangeland-to-Arsenal talk (but there’s very little new in that article), but the fact that Dempsey wants to sign a new four-year contract is a fantastic boost on the eve of the season. Not just because his existing deal was running down and there were rumours of interest from Everton, but also because Dempsey has already improved markedly from the player Hodgson inherited. If he works at his game and continues to develop under Hodgson, he could be even more of a star than he is already down by the Thames.

It’s that potential for improvement – as well as the unexpected – that makes him such a key player. The rest of the world caught a glimpse of what Dempsey can offer at the Confederations Cup. Let’s hope that we see it on a regular basis for many years to come.