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Viking confirm Nevland switch

Viking Stavanger have confirmed that Erik Nevland will join them from Fulham on a free transfer this summer.

The veteran forward is a legend at his hometown club and has signed a two-year deal with Viking.

According to Eirik in the comments, Viking were hopeful of swooping for Fredrik Stoor as well but Roy Hodgson turned down their offer.

UPDATE: Aftenbladet says it was actually Stoor who snubbed the chance to move to Viking. Thanks to Eirik once again.

Nevland heading home?

The Norwegian press seem to be pretty confident that Erik Nevland will be leaving Fulham in the summer.

Nevland has agreed to return to his former club Viking Stavanger in Norway with his contract up at Fulham at the end of the 2009/2010 campaign.

The 32-year-old striker made his professional breakthrough with Viking in 1995 and also returned there following his time at Manchester United.

It makes sense. Nevland, though carrying a painful toe injury, has slipped behind David Elm in the pecking order and this would suggest that the Swede has done enough to convince Hodgson that he’s worth a long-term deal.

I can’t quite list all the reasons why I love Erik but, in no particular order, there’s:

  • Just the fact he can change a game from the pitch
  • His endeavour typifies Hodgson’s ideals and Erik’s enjoyed a bit of an Indian summer at the Cottage.
  • Ice-cool finishes as we came haring down the home straight in the Great Escape: Reading and Birmingham spring to mind.
  • He seems like a really level-headed, likeable guy too. He even asked a friend of mine whether she was sure she wanted his autograph after that horrid miss against Hull.

Erik Nevland on camera

Slightly wacky interview with Erik Nevland here but my favourite current Fulham striker comes across as the humble and yet intriguing guy that we’ve quickly grown to love at the Cottage.

Accrington Stanley photos

Courtesy of Orm.

accringtonPre-match packed terraces

nevlandscoresCelebrations after Erik puts Fulham in front

ohnoAccrington equalise

tvYou wouldn’t catch me up there …

stanleyExactly …

This is just a selection of Orm’s excellent photography. See the rest here.

Fulham’s forward line

A poster on TIFF this morning muses over whether Fulham’s participation in the Europa League has made us a more attractive proposition to players from around Europe. I’d say the answer is a definite yes. Bringing in the likes of Damien Duff, who despite his age possesses undoubted quality, and Stefano Okaka (touch wood as it’s still not confirmed) on loan suggests that Roy can now shop a higher level to when he was battling to simply save our top flight status.

Arguably, going further than the group stage in Europe can only help the club further. You might have noticed that a few more links have sprung up on the right hand side of this page. When I first started going to the Cottage as a child, it was difficult to get 4,500 Fulham fans together in the same place. Now, we’ve got supporters following us from far flung places like Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, Sweden, Norway, America and Australia. It’s nowhere close to the international fanbase of the top four but it is pretty impressive given our relatively recent ascent.

The arrival of Okaka, who is apparently flying into London on Tuesday to conclude the loan deal, will give Hodgson a few more options up front. Without Bobby Zamora for a while, Roy will have felt that he needed to bring in a new striker. Okaka’s not a conventional target man, but as Rich and Nick both point out, he’s an upgrade on what was available already, even if that might be a bit harsh on the lesser-spotted David Elm, whose Fulham career seems destined to be a short run.

I fancy he’s got the versatility to be both a threat in the air – he climbed really well to score the winner in Rome that we all cursed at the time – and he’s obviously got the pace to hurt defences that may try and push up against us. He will probably complement our other strikers too. Both Johnson and Kamara are poachers, though Joe’s got the ability to produce something unexpected and AJ’s more of a worker, who sometimes infuriates you by drifting into the channels too often. There’s the possibility that Erik Nevland could get some more playing time too, particularly if Kamara and Zamora remain injured for any length of time, and that would fit in with his new contract talks.

Going back to Okaka, here’s a look at what we might be getting on loan:

Let’s hope he can have a greater long-term impact than our last loan signing from Roma. Vincenzo Montella quickly won a place in the Fulham fans hearts for his clever vision and effortless running, but was sent packing by Sanchez, who felt he didn’t fancy the physical stuff. Perhaps Okaka can do enough to justify a permanent move.