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Crewe take Etheridge on loan

League One strugglers Crewe Alexandra have signed Fulham reserve goalkeeper Neil Etheridge on an emergency loan.

The Alex have conceded 36 in 16 league games this season – the worst record in English football’s top four divisions.

And, having already used three keepers this season, boss Steve Davis has opted bring in a new face for Saturday’s derby clash at home to Port Vale.

The 23-year-old London-born Philippines international has previously been on loan at Charlton and Bristol Rovers.

Having swapped this season between veteran Steve Phillips and Alan Martin, his understudy for the past two years, Davis turned to youngster Ben Garratt for Tuesday night’s FA Cup first round replay at home to Wycombe Wanderers.

But Garratt’s error led to Wycombe’s crucial opening goal as the Alex bowed out 2-0.

Davis had already warned earlier this week, following last Saturday’s 5-0 caning at Brentford, that his patience with his squad had run out.

Crewe take Dalla Valle on trial

Crewe Alexandra have taken Fulham’s Finnish centre forward Lauri Dalla Valle on a month’s trial.

Should the Finnish under-21 international impress Alex boss Steve Davis he could join the League One side on loan. Dalla Valle signed for Fulham in the same deal that saw Alex Kacaniklic move from Melwood as Paul Konchesky became one of Roy Hodgson’s first Liverpool signings in his ill-fated spell at Anfield, but whilst the Swedish midfielder has quickly established himself as an emerging talent in the first team, Dalla Valle has had to settle for brief opportunities to impress with the Under 21s as well as loan spells at Exeter City, Dundee United and Bournemouth. He has only made two appearances for the first team, both as a substitute against NSI Runavik in Fulham’s first Europa League qualifier in the summer of 2011.

Dalla Valle was watched by Crewe’s assistant manager Neil Baker as Fulham’s Under 21s beat Wolves at Telford on Monday night and, with Alex struggling for striking options following the news that Adam Clayton might be missing for as long as a month, Davis told BBC Radio Stoke that he’s keen to take a closer look at the former Internazionale striker:

They’ve enabled us to look at him first, we haven’t made any decision on whether we’re are keeping him on loan. But he’s got that opportunity if he does well over the next few weeks.

It’s a no-brainer really, he’s a lad that’s got something – he’s a 21-year-old with some experience, and he has scored some goals. He’s a good lad, speaks very good English and very excited about the prospect here.

Fulham have given Dalla Valle permission to train with Crewe and he will get his first chance to impress for their under-21 side against Huddersfield Town next Wednesday night.

Fulham play down Wright move

Fulham have played down speculation linking them with a bid to sign Crewe full-back David Wright when the transfer window reopens in January.

Wright spent a day with Leeds before the closure of the window in August, but the recent sacking of Peter Reid and continuing cash worries at Elland Road make Fulham favourites to sign the highly rated youngster. The Sun ‘exclusively revealed’ that the deal, rumoured to be worth £725,000 had been completed on Thursday, but Fulham have moved to quash the speculation.

A club spokesman said: “We won’t comment on any speculation and we are not aware of any interest in this player. We signed Moritz Volz in the summer and Liam Rosenior has joined us recently from Bristol City.”

Fulham closing in on Wright

Fulham manager Chris Coleman expects to finally sign Crewe defender David Wright in the January sales.

Coleman failed in a £500,000 bid for the young right-back in August but has now stepped up his efforts.

Wright, 23, has played more than 200 games for the First Division side and was a target for Peter Reid at Leeds.

But Reid’s sacking has left Fulham clear favourites and they hope to land Wright for around £700,000.