It’s Official

“A star player will be sold for a decent amount of cash around a transfer deadline. The club will then use that money to unearth some overlooked talent.”


The Club can today confirm that it has reached an agreement with Tottenham Hotspur for the transfer of midfielder Mousa Dembélé.

The 25-year-old Belgian international has successfully completed a medical and will sign for an undisclosed fee.

Following two full seasons at Craven Cottage, the Club would like to thank Mousa for his contribution and wish him well throughout the rest of his career.

On one hand I’m going to miss Dembélé. Here is a player that we’ve seen grow up in just two seasons, and yet, it feels like we hardly know him. He’s not a Finnan, or a Coleman, or a McBride, or even a Gera that will been immortalized through their duration and actions. Nor is he a Dempsey or a Malbranque or a Zamora, players that could be in our Hall of Fame had there not been such a messy divorce.

He’s a remarkable talent that Clint Dempsey said was one of the best players he’s ever seen. He was just beginning to fully come into his own, but there’s no memorable cup run or giant killing that we’ll be able to associate him with. We’ll never get to see him fully blossom while wearing a piece of white laundry with our badge iron to it. And this is so heartbreaking.  It feels like a blue chip college athlete that decides to go pro after one year, only to get drafted by a mid/upper tier, but certainly not elite, team. When, had they just stuck around, perhaps something tangibly memorable could have been achieved.

On the other, if not a more purely financial, hand it’s a good bit of business for a player that has only been truly remarkable for about six months. Now, don’t take this as me slighting him; I’m really not. He was always a fixture in the starting lineup, the epitome of our unshackling of Hodgson’s uber-defensive style. But, for a while, the refrain from pundits was often “When’s he going to start scoring goals?” or from the fans “Dembélé’s out, again.” We had a unusual talent on our hands, but we didn’t really know where he fit in; or if he even did. Yet Jol found the magic formula and molded our current system to suit his strengths. Much like I’m disappointed this only happened in February and so we’ve  barely had 4 months of seeing it in action; perhaps there was a cold, logical notion that this was as good as it’ll get.

To use a Baltimore Orioles baseball analogy, (sorry, en route for the first winning season since 1997!) he could become the next Erik Bedard. Or, conversely, could become the next Curt Schilling. Take the risk that it’ll bite you in the ass, but always have an eye toward the future.

Contract clause aside, when a team comes around with a £15m quid offer, (highest ever since Saha’s departure for £12.5m or so), why wouldn’t we take the money? We all know the economics of football are total horseshit, and the big clubs will continue to poach from the tiny clubs and amass talent whenever and wherever players are allowed new, big contracts at the new, big club. Until this changes (it won’t), there will always be a Dembélé. Much like there was a Saha. And a Rooney. And whomever. Players will follow the money until there is no money. It’s their job. Clubs like ours will produce players for money until there is no money. It’s their job.

This sucks. It really does. But if we were really taken by surprise over this we’d go support Barcelona. Or take up cycling.

Timmy Gelles is a writer for Craven Cottage Newsround. A Fulham fan since 2006, he is currently sad. E-mail him or follow him on twitter.

5 thoughts on “It’s Official

  1. Well said. It’s the unavoidable truth of following a smaller club: beautiful things are taken from us.

    That said, this one hurts. I was really hoping (against hope) that I’d get to watch Dembele in a Fulham shirt across a whole season.

  2. What if I’ve already taken up cycling? Easy transition for me, I suppose!

    In the end, sad to see such a talent go. Hopefully, Jol has a replacement lined up as we speak…I don’t believe anyone currently at the club can replace what Moussa offered with the current setup on the field.

    Does this then mean a change in tactics is in order, or are the players puzzle pieces where in this case, we lost a piece but just need to find another to make the picture whole?

  3. No matter how much praise he got, I always felt he was underrated. There has been a lot of mention of him lacking in the final third. I think this was more of a coincidence and due to his deep positioning in the line up. I think he has the ability to score 20 goals a season without improving at all.

    We used to be so happy being an overachieving team without stars. But the last couple seasons it was obvious – even when we were near the bottom of table early last season – that we had taken it to another level and were capable of beating, not just holding to goal less draw, any team in the league. I just hope that we bring in ample replacements to make up for this weeks loss in quality so we don’t lose that edge.

    The Norwich game was a true test to see how we would respond to the Dempsey saga. Upton Park this Saturday, a stadium we have recently struggled in, will be the Dembele equivelant test, and a far harder one at that! I just hope we can create enough noise and get behind the Team!

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