Fulham manager Martin Jol expects midfielder Mickaël Tavares to feature for the first team during a congested winter fixture list.
The Senegalese midfielder moved to Craven Cottage after the close of the transfer window as Jol swiftly sought cover for the injured Mahamadou Diarra, but the Mali man’s quicker than expected return from injury means that Tavares will have be patient as he waits for a chance to make his first team debut. The 29 year-old, who signed for Jol when he was in charge at Hamburg in 2009, was impressive during the Under-21’s 3-1 win over Chelsea last month, although his lack of first-team football showed at times.
Jol confirmed that he saw Tavares as cover for the likes of Diarra, Chris Baird and Steve Sidwell in central midfield but with the trio now all fit, the former Slavia Prague and Middlesbrough man might have to wait for a Premier League opportunity.
Tavares was a back-up player for me for Diarra and Chris Baird. There was not the situation where I could bring Tavares [into the starting line-up] as well but hopefully he could be involved in the next couple of months.
New Fulham signing Mickael Tavares has expressed his eagerness at linking up with Martin Jol at Craven Cottage.
The 29-year-old was signed on a short-term deal on Friday after being released by Hamburg in the summer and reconnects with the Dutchman after their brief spell working together at the German club.
Tavares, a Senegal international who plays as a defensive midfielder, featured for Fulham’s Under-21 side against Chelsea Under-21s on Friday in a bid to improve his match fitness ahead of the club’s next Premier League fixture at home to Aston Villa on October 20.
“My agent called me to say he’d spoken with the coach, with Martin Jol, who I worked with in Hamburg,” the midfielder said.
“After the injury to Mahamadou Diarra, Fulham needed another player in midfield so they called me and asked me to come for a few days to see if I was fit.
“I am looking forward to working with Martin Jol again. He brought me to Hamburg but he didn’t stay for long as he moved to Ajax, so I’m very happy to see him again and I want to thank him for giving me the chance to play in the Premier League and show everybody what I can do.
“I think it’s the dream for everybody to play in the Premier League. I was at Middlesbrough in the Championship and that was a good experience but the Premier League is something else so I’m very happy to be here.
“I’m on a short-term deal so while I’m here I want to put in some good performances to try and convince people that I deserve a longer contract.”
Fulham have completed the signing of free agent defensive midfielder Mickael Tavares on a short-term deal.
The 29-year-old worked with Cottagers boss Martin Jol at Hamburg, the club he was released by this summer.
“I’m happy that I’m now officially a Fulham player and I’m looking forward to playing under Martin Jol once more,” the Senegal international said.
“The players and staff have made me feel welcome and I can’t wait to get started with my new teammates.”
The Fulham manager said: “Mickael is a typical holding midfielder and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to strengthen this area.”
Tavares was signed from Slavia Prague by Jol in January 2009.
After Jol left for Ajax at the end of the 2008-2009 season, the Senegalese was loaned first to Nuremberg and then Middlesbrough, on a season-long deal during the 2010-2011 campaign.
“He played for me when I was at Hamburg so I’m familiar with his qualities and he will prove to be a very good addition,” said Jol.
France-born Tavares has won 25 caps for Senegal.
Fulham manager Martin Jol wants to bring in Mickael Tavares in a bid to shore up Fulham’s midfield.
Boss Jol knows the French-born Senegal midfielder from his days as Hamburg boss.
Fulham lost a host of key midfielders this summer including Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey and Danny Murphy.
Free agent Tavares, 29, had a spell on loan at Middlesbrough two years ago.