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Nobody has quite introduced themselves at Craven Cottage in the manner that Denis Odoi did. He appeared a rather nondescript defender, a bit of a bargain plucked from Belgium to supplement Slavisa Jokanovic’s resources as Fulham restocked for a promotion push, but proved so much more than that. Anyone present for his insane backflip that bamboozled Paul Dummett will never forget it. It was a magical moment on a night that a new-look Fulham showed the first signs of serious style under Jokanovic – and gave an early taste of Odoi’s ability to surprise.

The likeable Belgian has never quite nailed down one position at Fulham and, rather like Chris Baird in the past, instead made a virtue of his versatility. He’s played all across the back without complaint, filling at left back creditability before transforming into a ball-playing centre half who became the ideal partner for Tim Ream as that magical 23-match unbeaten run unfolded. His header against Derby wrote his name into Fulham folklore and it was just quintessentially Denis to end up on the Wembley crossbar toasting promotion despite having been sent off against Aston Villa.

Several times in his five year spell in south west London it seemed as though his Fulham career might be coming to an end. Marco Silva certainly doesn’t see him as a first pick, but valued his contribution over the summer enough to reward the 33 year-old with the captaincy in last week’s League Cup tie at Birmingham. Odoi responded with a mature and committed display that earned him an opportunity in the absence of Kenny Tete against Stoke yesterday – and he certainly didn’t let anyone down.

He may not be the marauding full back that Silva’s ever-so-adventurous system demands, but Odoi gave a good impression of one yesterday. He drove down the line, overlapping Harry Wilson from the first minute, to provide an option in the final third. His crossing is often underrated – remember the peach of the ball he provided for Aboubakar Kamara’s equaliser against QPR a couple of years ago – and with a bit of luck he might have been on the scoresheet himself a couple of times before half-time.

Most crucially, Odoi decisively won the battle with Stoke’s promising left wing-back Josh Tymon hands down yesterday. Once twice did Tymon get a clear sight of goal in the whole ninety minutes – and arguably he should have done better on both occasions – but Odoi bombed on to great effect, both as a decoy runner allowing Fulham’s forward line to roam with intent and also utilising the ball intelligently when it came his way. He remained an organiser to the last – pointing out danger, coaxing others in better defensive positions and proving an integral part of another clean sheet against what looked like a very effective Stoke side. You can see easily appreciate why he’s racked up 159 Fulham appearances.

I had the pleasure of a few minutes in Odoi’s company on Thursday. He was characteristically engaging, curious and eager to make his mark in a season when you sense his opportunities might be limited. It may not be enough to dissuade Silva from entering the market for a new right back before the end of the month, but he certainly did that yesterday.