For the past two weeks or so, Fulham’s transfer activity has been dominated by one man in Diego Rolan, with the 24-year-old Uruguayan international at the centre of a ‘will he, won’t he’ transfer saga. Fulham reportedly agreed a £5million deal with current club Bordeaux back on July, 16th but with this fee much lower than the original asking price there always seemed to be something strange going on. It appears that Rolan is not in Bordeaux’s long term plan and, with just one year left on his current contract, they need to sell now to avoid losing him on a free next summer, Moussa Dembele style. Fulham are the main party interested but, amidst reports of Newcastle and an unnamed La Liga side also attracted to the striker, Rolan is putting off a decision.
It is fair to say that Fulham have worked hard at landing their man. He has so far had two trips to London but to no avail. From his Instagram and Twitter, it looks as though he is definitely leaving Bordeaux, but there is yet no word on his next destination. At this stage, I don’t think that Rolan would be the best fit for the club. No football club needs a player who thinks that he is too good for them, we know that from the Chris Martin dilemma last season. If he does make a U-turn at this stage and decide that Fulham is for him then it will be up to the players already at the club to have a word and tell him that to excel at Fulham, you need to love the club. Making him share a room with Lucas Piazon should be enough to convince him!
Fulham are now in a tough situation. Do they continue to try and impress a player who is ‘just not that into you’ or do they miss the opportunity of a real coup and turn their attentions to someone else? This saga has certainly taken up a lot of the club’s time, with no players brought in since Piazon signed on, but no one should assume that the club hasn’t been working on other targets. Today we have woken up to the news that we are close to bringing Norwich striker Cameron Jerome in on a £3million deal. While I would be thrilled to see this deal come off, I can see a few stumbling blocks ahead.
Firstly, at 30-years-old, signing Jerome would be against Fulham’s apparent age policy that means that they are reluctant to bring any players in who are over 28. While I reckon that with the lack of first team standard strikers at the club we may need to be flexible on this, the powers that be might rather we look for the younger and more long term target.
Secondly, the £3million price tag is high for someone whose last fee was £1.5million back in 2014. The most expensive he has ever been was £4million when he signed for Stoke City in 2011 as a 24-year-old so why are we paying close to that for someone six years on?
However, the statistics are another factor altogether. Below are the goal scoring records of Rolan and Jerome for last season and overall. Yes, I know it’s perhaps unfair to compare goals scored in Ligue 1 with the Championship, but with Jerome we have someone who isn’t going to need a settling in period. He has regularly scored at this level season upon season while Rolan is more inconsistent, albeit at a higher level. But that, factored in with Rolan’s lack of desire to play for Fulham, would mean that Jerome is a far smarter buy, even if it is short term.
Overall, I think that we can expect signings in the next two weeks, especially with Slavisa’s comments at the weekend. Given how close we were to promotion last year, it is disappointing that we haven’t added much to the squad but I fully expect to see this change soon. Jerome is a good starting point and from there we will just have to wait and see what happens.