Since I suppose we’re inching fairly close to Christmas (the commercialism of the season started a long time ago anyway), it isn’t too surprising that rumours are beginning to swirl around about who Fulham might be signing in the January transfer window. Try these three for size.
First up is Gustav Svensson. The 22-year-old has come up leaps and bounds in the last year and was an integral part of the IFK side that finished second in this year’s Allsvenskan. He’s got an eye for goal too. But you’d have to question whether we have enough depth in midfield for the moment – especially when you think that Baird, Greening and Dikgacoi can all cover for Dickson Etuhu as a holding midfielder – and, when the player himself suggests he could do with another year in his native league, it’s a pretty fair indication that he might not be ready for the Premier League.
Next there’s Johan Audel. Each transfer window throws up obscure strikers that Roy Hodgson’s supposedly monitoring and you’re never sure how genuine the link is. The Valenciennes forward has already admitted that he’s not heard anything official from Fulham and the smart money would be on us not making an approach at the moment. At £3.5m, Audel – untried in England as he is – would represent a fairly major gamble and, unless we lose a striker in January or remain light on options due to injuries, the 25-year-old might not be heading to the Cottage. A league record of two goals in seven isn’t exactly earth shattering either.
Goal popped up with an ‘exclusive’ this afternoon claiming that we’re in a race against Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund to try and secure the signature of Ranford Osei. They claim that Osei won’t be staying with FC Twente, where he’s on loan, or Maccabi Haifa for too much longer. But paying €3m for someone who hasn’t managed to establish himself in the Eredivisie seems too much of a stab in the dark for our Roy.
We could make some interesting signings come the New Year, but I’d imagine Hodgson’s primary focus is consolidating our new found strength in depth by convincing some of our key players to follow his lead and commit their long-term future to the club.