‘I am very happy to join Fulham and look forward to training with the team to prepare for the first home game of the season. It has always been a dream to play in the Premier League and I will make sure that I make the most of this opportunity.
‘I understand that Fulham has a strong squad, so I am prepared to work hard for the Manager and take my chance to impress him, and my teammates, when the opportunities arise.’
Dembele (does it sound like Pele?) is a young attacking midfielder, said (by various posters on message boards who know someone who knows something) to be quick, strong, with an unselfish approach and a good attitude. Like the sound of that.
Interestingly, Hughes has been tracking Dembele for a while. Lork on TiFF noted this, and sure enough, it doesn’t take long to dig up stories:
MAN CITY boss Mark Hughes is ready to fight Arsenal to grab Belgium’s answer to Theo Walcott – £7million-rated Moussa Dembele.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has already had the young star, 21 – who plays up front or on the wing for Dutch side AZ Alkmaar – scouted on a number of occasions.
And he did not disappoint when they watched him last Friday, scoring twice for Louis van Gaal’s side in a 6-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam.
City, though, are also keeping tabs on him and Eastlands sources say they will have him monitored during the coming weeks – and hope that the presence of good pal Vincent Kompany, 22, will help them to seal a deal.
It is easy to see why Dembele, who already has 16 caps for Belgium, is so highly regarded.
In September, he came to the attention of many scouts when he took on seven defenders before scoring a memorable goal in a match against Willem II.
He was also a key figure in Belgium’s Olympic side, which defeated Italy in a run to the semi-finals.
Well, how about that? Not sure what happened to the Man City move (perhaps Dembele didn’t like the idea), but Hughes has clearly seen something he likes and has managed to pull the deal off.
The other interesting thing is that Dembele was part of AZ’s championship side a couple of years ago, when he worked under Louis Van Gaal. This mightn’t mean much, but suggests that he’s been exposed to good (and notoriously disciplined, I think?) coaching. So that could be good, too.
What an encouraging signing. Not one Roy would have made, but perhaps this will make us harder to play against.
(here he is – note the mysterious hand on his shoulder, suggesting some kind of terrifying Belgian horror movie)