As Fulham fans, we are generally used to business in the transfer window happening reasonably late in the window but this time, we already have had players leave and players swiftly brought in. It has been very busy for Jol which tells me that he has had a plan to freshen up the squad for quite some time now. The decisions to allow Pog and AJ to leave without much of a fight as well as saying good bye to our beloved captain panicked many fans but at the same time probably filled a lot of us which wonder, asking, ”What is Jol’s plan?”
Many have been very impressed with the signing of Petric and few fans could deny that right back was an area that needed strengthened so the signing of Riether would have caused a few nods. Now we have former Wigan striker Hugo Rodallega added to the ranks of our squad. Just before I go on to talk about our latest recruit I want to add the point that it is significant that Jol is doing some business early. I reckon that one of the reasons that Ruiz didn’t shine last year as much as we had hoped was because he was a late signing and was thrown straight into the mix whenever he definitely wasn’t ready. I believe that Ruiz will be much more important for us this year whenever he has had a solid year to learn about the English game. Petric, Riether and Rodallega will have the whole of pre-season to learn about the way Fulham play and the philosophy that Jol is now rapidly bringing to the club. I don’t think that Jol is anywhere near done in the window and don’t expect that all of the dealings will be done early, we are Fulham after all!
Now let’s talk about Jol’s newest acquisition. What can we expect from the man who has had a mixed 3 years at Premier league strugglers Wigan? Well, I think we can expect a Zamora-esque style of play. He is a big, strong guy who can hold the ball up away from defenders as well as having a good burst of speed. He is tricky player to defend against because of this. He was Wigans’ top PL goal scorer with 24 goals and his best season was 10 goals in the 2009-10 season. I think that with good service, something that he perhaps didn’t always get at Wigan, we could expect to get 10-15 goals in all competitions from him. Jol spoke highly of Hugo and seems convinced that he will fit in to the style at Fulham so I think that he expects that he will benefit from the service that the likes of Frei, Ruiz and (hopefully) Dempsey will provide him with. Youtube have a good video showing nearly all of Rodallega’s goals for Wigan. Most of his goals come from inside the box and we have headers, left footers and right footers. He looks very handy inside the box as many of his goals are due to him being much sharper than the defenders! He looks like a very solid player and the fact that he was on a free means that t was a good piece of business.
I still think Jol might buy another striker, as we haven’t spent anything on Rodallega or Petric so I’m not sure who we will see in our starting line up this season. Will it be a Petric-Rodallega strike force or will we, as rumours suggest, have Andy Carroll in the mix as well? Now that would be interesting. I think that some of the pre-season games will give us more clues as to how we will line up this year but at the same time I don’t think Jol is done in the transfer window just yet and it just adds to my excitement about the next season!