Fulham have confirmed striker David Elm is to return to Sweden to join Elfsborg from the start of February.
Elm joined the Premier League club from Kalmar 18 months ago, but has struggled to make an impact during his time at Craven Cottage.
He made 17 appearances in all competitions last season and his only goal came in a 3-0 home win over Burnley last February.
However, the 28-year-old has not played since Mark Hughes replaced Roy Hodgson as manager and has been allowed to leave Fulham.
With Andy Johnson and Moussa Dembele fit again after injuries to strengthen Fulham’s attacking options, current manager Mark Hughes has deemed Elm surplus to requirements.
The forward had been linked with a return to Kalmar, but it is understood he has accepted a four-year contract to join Elfsborg.
A Fulham statement read: “Fulham Football Club can confirm the permanent transfer of David Elm to Swedish side IF Elfsborg as of 1st February 2011. FFC would like to thank David for his services and wishes him all the best for the future.”
David Elm has just told Swedish radio that he will be signing a contract extension to stay at Fulham beyond the summer.
This confirms the perception that Elm has done a lot better in his first year at the club and the former Kalmar striker has persuaded Roy Hodgson to tie him down to a long-term deal. The sticking point seems to be the length of the contract (likely to be two years at best for the moment).
Elm, who joined from the Swedish champions in a surprise summer deal, had impressed when he got a run in the first team earlier this year. He scored his first Fulham goal in the 3-0 win over Burnley back in February.
David Elm’s agent says his client wants to stay at Fulham – and suggests that there are indications that the Craven Cottage club want to keep the Swedish striker.
Elm has been particularly impressive of late since making his league debut for the Whites and scored his first goal for the club in the recent 3-0 defeat of Burnley. The towering striker’s agent, Patrick Mork, is confident that he will remain at Fulham despite his one-year deal expiring in the summer.
Nothing about a new deal has happened as yet, but we have got indications off Fulham that they want keep David. They have shown positive indications about taking up a two-year option in his contract and I would be surprised if they didn’t.
David would be delighted to sign a longer contract at Fulham as he is enjoying himself there. They have until March 31st to take up the option and if they don’t I am sure there will be other clubs who will be interested in David.
He is getting more confident now he is playing regularly and he is happy playing under Roy Hodgson.
Plenty of reaction to David Elm’s impact at Fulham in the Swedish press, who are already speculating that the towering forward has plenty of suitors should we fail to take up an option of offering him a new two-year deal.
His agent said:
Clubs from across Europe have called, but Fulham have got the option to keep him for another two years. He is enjoying himself at the club and feels that he has got Hodgson’s confidence.
The man himself seems very happy:
It was good fun. Everything went well. I am really enjoying myself now.
It has been difficult coming from Sweden to the Premier League. There is a big difference in the tempo of the game here and it is more aggressive but I have been patient and I took my chance when I got it against Burnley.
Fulham told me before I joined that I was an interesting player and it would be exciting to see if I could make the step. I knew it was going to be tough but I never had any second thoughts. I love it here. The dream scenario is that I can get a lot of time playing here.
David Elm was delighted to score his first Fulham goal on only his second league start and hopes that it will be the first of many.
The tall Swede followed up Bobby Zamora’s first half shot and the goal was a fitting reward for a bright display from the striker, who seems to have formed a good understanding with Zamora.
It was a really nice feeling scoring my first goal and I hope I can experience the same feeling again soon. It’s always good as a striker to score.
We knew it would be a tough game because there are no easy teams in the Premier League but we got a really nice start and played very well in the first-half.
I didn’t know the manager before I came to Fulham but I knew he was a great coach because I’d heard so many good things about him. It wasn’t a hard decision for me to come to Fulham.
It took four or five months just to settle down and adjust to the tempo and the pace of the play. It was hard in the beginning but you just have to work as hard as you can and do your best. Now it’s starting to feel like I can do something here. We have many good players at Fulham and it’s going to be tough but I just have to keep on working as hard as I can.