Martin Jol is delighted that Fulham have been able to capture free agent Mahamadou Diarra – and isn’t concerned by the fact that the former Real Madrid midfielder has been without a club since the summer.

The Malian midfielder signed a short-term contract until the end of the current campaign earlier this week and Fulham have the option to extend it by a further year in the summer. Diarra is eager to try and resurrect his career in England and Jol can only see advantages for Fulham.

“The trick with players like him is not to start telling them they need to prove something, that you need to look at them and invite them over for a couple of weeks. The trick is to get the information on whether he is fit and that is the information I had. Of course we had a little look him, he wasn’t aware of that but we had a little look.

“He has been here for two weeks now, went back to France for his work permit and everything is fine. We did not just start looking at him a couple of days ago. It is three weeks ago since I started to contact him when we were on 27 points. The main thing is to get enough points. [Steve] Sidwell is out and I was wary about Danny [Murphy] getting an injury – of course he is not 21 and he is playing all those games.

I thought the main thing was to have enough players and the other thing is that it is always nice to have someone who wants to play here next season. That is a big thing as well to get that option and of course he will push players and raise the mentality again in this last final part of the season.”

Jol revealed that Diarra could make his Fulham debut against Wolves on Sunday.