Ah, the obligatory transfer roundup post. Before we begin the beguine though, let’s look back five years and put this window into a bit of perspective.
|2006 January Transfer Window IN
GK Tony Warner Cardiff City Undisclosed
MF Simon Elliott Columbus Crew Free
GK Antti Niemi Southampton Undisclosed
MF Michael Brown Sheffield United Undisclosed
DF Wayne Bridge Chelsea Loan
|2007 January Transfer Window IN
FW Vincenzo Montella A.S. Roma Loan
MF Clint Dempsey New England Revolution £1.5m
MF Simon Davies Everton Undisclosed
MF Alexey Smertin Dynamo Moscow Free
|2008 January Transfer Window IN
DF Brede Hangeland Copenhagen Undisclosed
MF Leon Andreasen Werder Bremen Undisclosed
FW Eddie Johnson Kansas City Wizards Undisclosed
DF Toni Kallio Young Boys Undisclosed
FW Jari Litmanen Malmo Free
DF Paul Stalteri Tottenham Hotspur Loan
|2009 January Transfer Window IN
MF Giles Barnes Derby County Loan
MF Olivier Dacourt Inter Milan Loan
MF Julian Gray Coventry City Undisclosed
|2010 January Transfer Window IN
FW Stefano Okaka AS Roma loan
DF Nicky Shorey Aston Villa loan
DF Christopher Buchtmann Liverpool Undisclosed
|2011 January Transfer Window IN
MF Steve Sidwell Aston Villa Fulham Undisclosed
MF Gaël Kakuta Chelsea Fulham Loan
FW Eidur Gudjohnsen Stoke City Fulham Loan
Chris Coleman deserves many plaudits for addressing momentary failings while also strengthing for the future. Antti Niemi would be a fixture in goal for the next 2 seasons — and probably more had he not severely injured himself. Clint Dempsey is currently the squad’s MVP, and Simon Davies scored a goal in a European final.
Outside of the 2008 January Transfer window, when he had just taken just charge and basically had a summer’s worth of dealings truncated into 31 days, Roy’s dealings made little lasting impact. None of the players signed in January 2009 and 2010 were with the club come May. In 2009, only Dacourt even saw the field. In 2010, Shorey and Okaka, although giving rest to our non-cup tied XI, played in (let’s face it) some pretty meaningless league games.
It’s also probably worth pointing out that some (once) key players have also left Fulham during the January period: notably Luis Boa Morte in 2007 and Jimmy Bullard in 2009.
So what to make of this year’s newbies? Is Hughes taking the Cookie route, or the Roy route of merely looking for squad players?
Steve Sidwell is another defensive center mid that will give Etuhu a bit of competition — according to Colin’s database, Etuhu is number two in Sidwell’s similarity score list. Football365 even put this transfer in their Top 10:
7 – Steve Sidwell (undisc from Aston Villa to Fulham)
Languishing in the reserves at Aston Villa, Sidwell’s career could charitably have been described as ‘stalled.’ He clearly needed to get out, but his move to Fulham turned out to be excellent not just because it got him out of the Villa stiffs, but because he didn’t end up signing for West Ham. Indeed, in pulling out of the deal because the Hammers apparently had too many midfielders (Mediawatch has dealt with their pursuit of other men in that position), Karren Brady did Sidwell a favour. Would you prefer a stable club whose form seems to be turning around, or a basket case at the bottom of the league? Tough call.
Although some say they see little in Sidwell that Greening cannot do, maybe Sabermetrics could prove otherwise?
Kakuta is a bit of a mystery, considering he’s barely featured for Chelsea after putting them through so much trouble (weep). But even at age 19, he does bring some Champions League experience. Not that I put any stock into that, but it sure sounds official and something a pundit would say. He could be a squad player, but I have a feeling he may see some games.
Gudjohsen is definitely past his prime, but can do some patchwork for us until Bobby is 110% (which I’m betting is in early March). His winning goal against Stoke City last winter helped Spurs be in a position to qualify for the Champions League. The goal against us in the FA Cup effectively ruined all dreams of Wembley. Like Kakuta, Eidur is one to bolster the bench but will be surely called upon when needed.
On the flip side, Fulham saw 5 exits this window. Going out was David Elm, who appeared just once this season, on the bench for opening day, and his Swedish compatriot Fredrik Stoor. Although Stoor at least registered on Soccernet’s transfer tally, he made 9 appearances for a mere 526 minutes in his 2.5 seasons with the club.
Also going out was young gun Robert Milsom left for Aberdeen, which considering the current glut at midfield is no surprise.
Leaving on loan was Keanu Marsh-Brown to MK Dons, and Eddie Johnson to Preston North End. Although many fans will be happy to see the backside of EJ, he may at least play a part in Preston’s survival. I know I’ll be following him with the rebirth of the loaner reports.
Rich wrote last week about what he thought the side needed during this window. Well, we got our center mid and center forward (sorta). And with Senderos (remember him?) yet to make an appearance this season but coming back from injury, that’s essentially a signing right there.
Plus, with the same about to happen Zamora in a month or so, and AJ’s seeming return to form, making it rain for some other striker wasn’t necessary after all.