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Routledge set to start against Fulham?

Swansea boss Brendan Rogers is considering handing Wayne Routledge a start against Fulham on Saturday.

Routledge has only made six league starts for the Swans this season but impressed Rogers went he came off the bench to good effect in the defeat at Blackburn last weekend. With Joe Allen suspended after his sending off at Ewood Park, the Swansea boss will need to reshape his midfield and he gave a strong hint this afternoon that the 26 year-old winger could start against one of his former clubs:

We would rather have Joe with us, of course, because you want your best players available as often as possible.  But the players who came on at Blackburn did terrifically for us. I thought Wayne Routledge was outstanding when he came on.

You need your front players to create goals and score goals and, whenever Wayne has played in his favourite position, he has done that. He was excellent last Saturday and he is really pushing to get in the side.

Routledge spent the 2006-07 season on loan at Craven Cottage from Tottenham, making 28 appearances and scoring his only goal against Leicester City in the FA Cup.

Coleman wants to keep Routledge

Chris Coleman is determined to reach a deal to keep on-loan winger Wayne Routledge at Fulham.

Routledge is currently at Craven Cottage from Tottenham Hotspur, but is wanted back at White Hart Lane.

Spurs are keen to use the England Under 21 international as part of another deal, with reports suggesting he will be included in a bid for Watford’s Ashley Young.

Fulham boss Coleman claims Routledge is not keen to join any of the other clubs Spurs have arranged deals with.

Instead, Coleman is confident the youngster wants to stay with The Cottagers and hopes to reach an agreement with his London rivals.

“Spurs want to take him back, but only because they plan to do a deal with another club,” said Coleman.

“We are keen to keep Wayne. He has done really well and he has settled in.

“He doesn’t want to go to the clubs Spurs are talking about, he wants to stay with us.

“We’re hopeful we can do a deal.”

Fulham’s Routledge bid rejected

Tottenham have rejected a bid from Fulham to make Wayne Routledge’s move to Craven Cottage a permanent one, according to Sky Sports.

The 21-year-old is currently on a season-long loan with Fulham and he has obviously done enough to impress boss Chris Coleman.

Coleman is looking to bolster his options, as Fulham look for a top half finish and he feels Routledge’s permanent signature would be a boost to his squad.

Other Premiership clubs including Watford are know to be tracking the England Under 21 international, which may well have hastened Fulham’s bid.

Spurs are very keen on nurturing young talent and coach Martin Jol may well decide to give Routledge another crack at forging a career at White Hart Lane – but that remains to be seen.

Coleman happy with summer business

Fulham may have failed to sign a new centre-back in the transfer window but boss Chris Coleman is happy with his existing defence.

The Cottagers were busy on the final day of business with Steed Malbranque joining Tottenham and Wayne Routledge moving in the opposite direction in a season-long loan deal.

Sylvain Legwinski signed for Ipswich, Coleman swooped for Czech goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka from FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Jaroslav Drobny’s contract was terminated.

Fulham fans will have been disappointed by the club’s inability to sign a new striker amid reports they were chasing Middlesbrough’s Massimo Maccarone.

But many believe it is the defence that is in most urgent need of reinforcements with the 5-1 opening-day drubbing at Old Trafford confirming suspicions that were raised last season.

Coleman, however, believes he already has sufficient numbers at the back.

“We’ve been looking at the defence. We bought Franck Queudrue while in pre-season Zat Knight looked very sharp,” he said.

“He looked like he had a point to prove, something I didn’t see for long periods last year.

“But Ian Pearce and Phillippe Christanval played very well together in pre-season and looked good against Bolton and Sheffield United.

“The penalty against Bolton had nothing to do with them. Zat played a lot of games last season and we didn’t keep enough clean sheets.

“That wasn’t just because of Zat, but Zat was a part of the defence. Our defence will stay the same until we have a couple of poor games.”

Veteran centre-back Pearce was singled out for heavy criticism after the Old Trafford debacle but following solid displays against Bolton and Sheffield United, Coleman insists keeping him fit is the biggest concern.

“People look at modern-day centre-halves who are often lightning quick and good on the ball. But nine times out of 10 they don’t know where to stand,” he said.

“They can make up that ground if they’re quick but their starting positions are wrong for everyone else. Ian Pearce is not electric but he’s quick enough and has a good head on him.

“Keeping Pearcey fit is the main thing. He’s had a lot of problems with his back because he’s a big lad. If we get 20-25 games out of him and he keeps on doing what he’s doing, then I’ll be delighted.”

Routledge’s arrival has helped ease the disappointment at the departure of Malbranque.

Coleman was desperate to offload the French contract rebel before the window closed with Tottenham replacing West Ham as his preferred destination.

But in terms of proven Premiership performers, it has been a lean summer for Fulham who have only signed Queudrue and Jimmy Bullard with top-flight experience.

Coleman pleased to land Routledge

Fulham manager Chris Coleman has expressed his delight at finally being able to land Wayne Routledge, who has moved to Craven Cottage on loan as part of the deal that takes Steed Malbranque to Tottenham.

Coleman has been a kind admirer of the winger since his Crystal Palace days and believes Routledge, who was on loan at Portsmouth last term, could fill a gap in the Fulham squad.

He told Fulham’s official website: “‘I have admired Wayne since he was a youngster at Palace and always thought he had a lot of talent. I am glad that we have been able to get him on loan as we needed a quick right sided player to add another dimension to the squad, and Wayne will be hungry to get back into action after he was sidelined at Spurs after his injury, so I’m delighted he’ll be joining us.”