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The forgotten man?

Chopper has a post up at the Hammy End Chronicle on Gabriel Zakuani. If you are struggling to remember who Zakuani is, you might have some company.

He played a blinder against Fulham for Leyton Orient a couple of years ago when the League 2 side knocked us out of the FA Cup at the third round side. Largely on the back of that performance, Zakuani joined the Whites for a fee that was reported to be as high as £1m. Depending on appearances, it could reach £1.5m – a club record fee for Orient.

Gabby’s first-team chances at Fulham have been limited. He hasn’t made an appearance for the first team and spent most of the past seasons on loan at Stoke City. He deputised at right-back for a period and helped Stoke reach the Premier League last year. Tony Pulis did speak during the Championship run-in last year about making the transfer permanent (and given his comments about the difficulty of making signings as a newly promoted side, you would have thought he would have snapped him up) but Zakuani returned to Fulham in the close season.

On his official website, Zakuani describes himself as ‘in limbo’. It is not difficult to see why. The manager who signed him was sacked barely a year later and his replacement left at Christmas. Roy Hodgson made a towering centre-back one of his first signings and Zakuani isn’t expected to break into the first team any team soon. He wouldn’t make my first eleven and seems destined to prove another one of those risky punts who never quite made it.

I can imagine what Hodgson will say to Zakuani when he asks whether he is in the manager’s first team plans. Expect him to be on loan again or shipped out sooner or later. When Fulham fans next remind you that Coleman didn’t get the sort of money that Lawrie Sanchez or even Hodgson (now) spent, it’s worth remembering the sort of money he’s wasted on the likes of Zakuani, Elrich, Niclas Jensen, Franck Quedrue and even our very own Bjorn Runstrom.