Fulham today have announced the signing of Dutch international Maarten Stekelenburg from AS Roma for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be under €5m, on a contract that lasts until 2017. The 30 year old, who has been capped 54 times for his country, was close to joining on January transfer deadline day after the clubs and player had agreed a move, before Roma pulled out of the deal in the last minute, declaring they hadn’t been left time enough to find a suitable replacement, but Fulham remained interested and the transfer has been completed over four months on.
Stekelenburg, who reunites with Martin Jol under whom he played for Ajax, said:
I am very happy to be joining Fulham, and to have everything sorted out so early in the summer, so I can really focus on preparations for playing in the Barclays Premier League next season.
It’s good that I’ll be joining Martin again, he knows my capabilities very well, so I am just looking forward to joining up with the team in pre-season and enjoying some time with them prior to the new season starting.
Fulham manager Jol was naturally delighted to finally capture his target:
Maarten Stekelenburg is a fine quality goalkeeper who I know well from my time working with him at Ajax and of course as the Dutch international goalkeeper I have always had an additional interest in his career. I am sure that he will do well here at Fulham in the Barclays Premier League.
He is a player of great quality and technical ability whose distribution and ability to react quickly and read the game is exceptional; he will be a fantastic addition to the talented team of ‘keepers that we already have. I am delighted that he was so keen to come to join us and am very happy with the way that the summer is shaping up in terms of our signings, so on the whole I’m ever so pleased.
The completion of this transfer is expected to hasten the exits of first-choice keeper Mark Schwarzer and his understudy David Stockdale, who are looking for guaranteed first team football.