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Great profile of Clint Dempsey by Paul Doyle in today’s Observer.

I’ve written about his tough upbringing before, but there are a few another interesting observations in there. Reading about the start to his career over here, I’m reminded of just how long Dempsey had to wait for a regular spot in the first team. Coleman bought him and seemed reluctant to start him, whilst he was often a substitute under Sanchez before having to earn a place in Hodgson’s side.

A couple of statistics underline his importance to Fulham:

  • Over the past three seasons Dempsey, playing mainly in midfield, has scored more Premier League goals, 19, than any other Fulham player
  • This season he has made more tackles than all other Premier League forwards bar two (Bolton’s Kevin Davies and Birmingham’s James McFaadden)

That second stat is a legacy of the improved defensive work that was essential if he was to win Hodgson’s trust.