Friday, February 01, 2008

Transfer Window Closes With Last Minute Action by Fulham

the January Transfer window closed yesterday with a flurry of loan activity by the Cottagers. In addition to the four transfer signings, Fulham also inked two permanent contracts and a loan from Tottenham.

The new Cottagers are:
  • Defender Brede Hangeland (3.7 million pounds)
  • Midfielder Leon Adreasen (2.4 million pounds)
  • Striker Eddie Johnson (1 million pounds)
  • Striker Erik Nevland (1.5 million pounds)
  • Striker Jari Litmanen (Perm. Contract through season)
  • Defender Toni Kallio (Perm. Contract through season)
  • Defender Paul Stalteri (Loan from Tottenham for remainder of season)

Stalteri, a Canadian international, along with Hangeland, helps add to a corps of players for the back line that Hodgson can test in differnt confifurations or move in and out of the line-up depending upon needs for either height in the middle or speed. Hangeland in particular, at 6'5" tall will help provide some strength in the air that has been missing.

With the return of Jimmy Bullard and the probable move of Clint Dempsey back to his natural midfield slot, the midfield has not been in as much doubt. I would like to see Carlos Bocanegra move to a holding midfield position and perhaps see Bullard and Dempsey splitting duty on attacking midfield.

The impending return of Brian McBride, and the additions of Johnson, Litmanen and Nevland, give Hodgson lots of striking alternatives that can combine experience, height, speed and goal scoring flair--something in dire need for Fulham. With fourteen matches left, Fulham needs goals and needs points.

Finally, Kasey Keller looks set for a return to playing form. Antti Niemi has done well in goal and has been hampered by rather poor defending. Keller's experience, particularly in big game situations, will prove helpful and may help compensate for poor defending by being a little bigger in goal.

The January transfer window is always dicey, but it looks like Hodgson did well with his acquisitions. Hopefully more results will come to Fulham as the points are desperately needed, but safety from relegation is not far off.

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