If you have looked closely at the various photo albums that Fulham have put on the official website throughout the pre-season tour of Austria you will have perhaps spotted Kostas Mitroglou in the ranks. Having seemingly been close to transfers to a number of different clubs, including Sporting Lisbon and Olympiacos, already this summer it seems surprising that the club have flown him out to Austria with the rest of the squad for a tough week of fitness and matches! Perhaps it is just a way of keeping him fit and ready for a transfer if someone comes looking but I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up staying at Fulham until at least January.
Signed for a whooping £12million in January of 2014, Mitroglou was supposed to be the man who scored the goals that kept Fulham in the Premier League. Instead he ended up being injured for pretty much the whole time and caused a wages headache for Fulham when we dropped down to the Championship. He has been branded a flop by many and was just another reason for football fans around the country to keep chuckling at Fulham. Shipped out back to Olympiacos last season, most Fulham fans doubted that the Greek would ever make it back to the banks of the Thames.
Yet here we are, summer 2015 and just 2 weeks to go before the start of the campaign and all loan deals or transfers are seemingly off the table. Why do I think he might end up staying for the first half of the season at least? Here are just two reasons:
- One reason Mitroglou was sent out on loan last season was because he was likely to be on hefty wages that Fulham would have been reluctant to maintain. And after paying a huge transfer fee that we would have struggled to get back, going out on loan was the best option financially. It meant that he would get game time and the club wouldn’t have had to worry about wages. However, this season Fulham have released the likes of Hugo Rodallega and Bryan Ruiz who also would have been on high wages. This, plus the fact that the players that we have brought in aren’t likely to have broken the bank, perhaps the club are more able to fund his wages if the coaching staff think he might play a part.
- We have let strikers go but haven’t yet brought anyone in. We aren’t exactly lacking in this area with Ross McCormack, Moussa Dembele, Cauley Woodrow, Matt Smith and Adam Taggart but having the Greek international striker also in the ranks can’t be a bad thing. Taggart didn’t feature at all last season due to injury so we really don’t know what he will bring to the squad. Also, Woodrow certainly has his critics because of his current habit of missing too many chances (although I do believe he will come good once his confidence is back). Dembele has been off scoring plenty for France U19s but he is another player who we don’t quite know for certain if he will be up to leading the attack alongside McCormack this season. I personally like Matt Smith but I feel he is more likely to be deployed as a substitute towards the end of games when we need a change of style. If the coaching staff decide to add Mitroglou into the mix then they are adding a player who scored 19 goals last season for Olympiacos, the same number as Ross McCormack! He could prove to be an important source of goals this season.
Obviously the club still might end up sending Mitroglou somewhere on loan and this whole article will be made pointless, but on the basis that he may stay I hope you don’t think that it is such a bad thing. We will know more come the start of the season in just over 2 weeks’ time.
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