The Norway captain has found his first-team opportunities limited at Craven Cottage this season following Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League and hopes to win a second successive promotion from the Championship under Darren Moore at the Hawthorns, with the Baggies sitting fourth in the table at present.
Johansen quickly became a fans’ favourite at Fulham after signing from Celtic for around £3m in August 2016, despite being hauled off after just 32 minutes on his debut. His energetic displays quickly saw strike up a superb understanding with Tom Cairney and Kevin McDonald in the Fulham midfield as Slavisa Jokanovic’s side reached the Championship play-off semi-finals before going one better and beating Aston Villa to reach the top flight last May.
The 28 year-old midfielder, who has made 46 senior appearances for Norway and scored five goals, has made 104 appearances for the Whites, scoring 21 goals. Johansen has only made three starts for Fulham this season – having been a regular in the first-team previously. His current contract at Craven Cottage expires at the end of this campaign, although Fulham have the option of triggering a one-year extension.
The 28 year-old, who has had two previous spells in English football with Arsenal and West Ham United, helped Hoffenheim to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga last season but has found his first-team opportunities limited this term. Nordtveit had made just eight league appearances for Hoffenheim and jumped at the opportunity to try and help Fulham avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Nordtveit told Fulham’s official website tonight:
I’m really happy to have the opportunity to come back to the Premier League and hopefully help Fulham to a safe place. That would be a something that I would put high on my list in my career.
The situation Fulham is in now, it’s more or less the same that Borussia Mönchengladbach was in when I went to them from Arsenal. They were down the bottom of the table, a much worse situation, eight points off a safe place, and we made it. It’s a feeling that I want again because it’s a feeling you can’t get anywhere else, just on a football pitch.
I haven’t spoken to Brede [Hangeland] about coming here but he is a good friend of mine. Of course, nothing would make me more happy than if I could fill half of his boots. He had a great career here. That’s a guy to look up to. Hopefully, I can make some good moments, like he did in a Fulham shirt.
Nordtveit, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, burst onto the scene in his native Norway as a teenager by making his first-team debut with FK Haugesund at the age of 16. He moved to Arsenal, having been watched by Arsene Wenger a year later, but couldn’t make the grade with the Gunners and left four years later without having made a senior first-team appearance in north London. He joined Borussia Mönchengladbach and helped his new club finish in the top four on three occasions, including a third-place finish in 2014. He started all six of Mönchengladbach’s Champions’ League games the following year and, after making 187 appearances, left to join West Ham.
His single season with the Hammers was something of a disappointment as Nordtveit made just 21 appearances, before Hoffenheim came calling in June 2017. The versatile 6ft 2in Norwegian has won 45 senior caps for his country, scoring two goals.
Fulham’s director of football operations Tony Khan said:
Havard is a talented defender, he’s versatile and intelligent, has extensive international and top-tier league experience, and he comes recommended as an excellent teammate. His scouting profile and his data profile are both excellent, and he arrives with the support of our manager. I believe this is a smart loan for Fulham, and we look forward to welcoming Havard to our squad
The French forward always looked certain to leave Craven Cottage during the January window following an eventful month where he missed a penalty against Huddersfield having refused to hand the ball over to Aleksandar Mitrovic, was embroiled in a fight with the Serbian striker at Motspur Park and was arrested on suspicion of actual bodily harm following an altercation with a club employee at Fulham’s Motspur Park training ground.
The 23 year-old joined Fulham from Amiens in July 2017 for a fee believed to be in the region of £5m and scored seven times in 32 league appearances as the Whites won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs. Kamara scored five goals in 15 appearances this season for the Whites, but will remain in Turkey until 30 June.
It’s remarkable how 45 minutes of football can change your whole attitude about things. I’ll admit that after the miserable defeat at Burnley that I thought that there was no hope that this squad could drag themselves out of this relegation battle. It’s the first time in years were I have genuinely lost hope in our team and it felt awful. My mood didn’t change after the Spurs game, despite a decent performance, and at half time against Brighton I was one of the many who considered it season over.
But then something changed. While our defence is still a
considerable worry, we showed a bit of fight for the first time in ages. I have
said for ages that I thought the turning point in our season was the draw away against
Brighton where we were seemingly cruising only to end up with a 2-2 draw, so
perhaps it is fitting that a possible comeback could come off the back of us
coming from 2-0 down against the same team.
It has been a frustrating January so far in terms of the
transfer window, with just one player through the doors of Motspur Park. While
the signing of Ryan Babel looks like a very positive one, we all know that it
is in defence were we really need personnel. With just a matter of hours left
in the window, I’m hoping that our business isn’t done yet, but I’m beginning
to get a little fearful.
Next up we have a trip to Selhurst Park to take on Roy Hodgson’s Palace, and for once we have already had some fortunate news with a Wilfred Zaha red card meaning their star man is unavailable. It’s mad to think that they apparently haven’t won a Premier League game without him while he has been with them, so hopefully we don’t go all Fulhamish and allow them to turn this unwanted record around. I’m gutted that I can make Saturday as Selhurst Park has been on my football to-do lists for some time, but I’ll be stuck following from afar because of work. I fully expect the Fulham faithful who are there to be making a real racket, especially after Tuesday night’s result. As a fanbase we really can make a difference to what happens on the pitch, and continuing to be behind the boys can help get them over the line.
We still have so much work to do to get us out of this mess,
but there have been some positive signs recently. I really hope Ranieri goes
with the team that finished on Tuesday night against Palace as we were so much
better then than how we started the game. I thought Cairney was sensational,
and I hope it puts to bed some of the doubts about his attitude! He was very
unfortunate not to score himself, but it was his shot that allowed Vietto to
score after it had cannoned off the bar. Shout out to Sergio Rico as well who
made an unreal save from a Murray header when the score was 2-2. Chambers,
Babel, Mitro and Seri all had great matches in the second half. We have the
players who can turn this around, so we need to keep believing.
Calum Chambers believes Fulham’s incredible fightback against Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday night shows that they ‘have the stomach for the fight’ as they battle to stay in the Premier League.
The Arsenal loanee’s first goal for the club sparked a remarkable comeback as the Whites scored four second-half goals without reply, having trailed to an early Glenn Murray brace. Chambers feels that the precious victory could serve as a turning point in their season and gives Fulham belief heading into Saturday’s trip to Crystal Palace.
He told the Mirror after the final whistle:
We have shown we have the stomach for the fight. We were 2-0 down, conditions weren’t nice, we could have easily crumbled — but we didn’t. We showed fighting spirit, we showed character and we showed a bit of pride. I think that’s what we are capable of and that’s what we need to do every game from now on. That’s going to be crucial. We have got to look at that second-half performance and what we did well. We have got to learn from that and take it into the next game.
That is the important thing – to try and build a bit of momentum. I think we can take a lot of positives from the second-half and go into the next games knowing we are capable of that.
Chambers also praised the impact of Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who grabbed a double to rock Brighton back on their heels.
Having him in the team can help you. He is a fighter, he is strong, and he scores goals. Having a player like him is crucial. That is why we need to use him. We need to use him as a player, know what his qualities are, and use them to our advantage.
He is a great character. He is a fighter. To have someone like that in the team is brilliant. He leads from the front. So having someone like that in the team is what we need.
There were obviously words from the manager at half time. We all spoke among ourselves as players. It was just a case of, we know it wasn’t good enough and we knew had to go out in the second-half and turn it around, show a bit of pride and character. That is what we did.
Fulham are working on a deal to sign centre back Havard Nordtveit from Hoffenheim, according to reports from Norway this evening.
The 28 year-old Norwegian international, who can also play as a holding midfielder, has had two previous spells in English football with Arsenal and West Ham United and is reportedly keen on returning to the Premier League. Nordtveit has spent the past two seasons with Hoffenheim since leaving the Hammers, but has made just eight Bundesliga performances this season.
Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has been desperate to bring in a centre back for much of the January transfer window, but talks over a potential move for Chelsea defender Gary Cahill broke down earlier this month. The move to sign Nordtveidt, who has won 45 caps for his country, has earned a thumbs up from former Fulham captain Brede Hangeland, who himself made a January move to Craven Cottage with the club deep in the relegation mire back in 2008.
Hangeland, who now works as a television analyst, told TV2 tonight:
I can’t see any other reason why Fulham should sign him than to go straight to the team. They have no need to get someone who cannot start and reinforce the base. Håvard also has no interest in sitting on the bench in the Premier League.
Fulham has a defence that is definitely not good enough. If he is intended for a defender role, he will be an upgrade on Odoi who plays on the right of the back three right now.