Fulham has done some magnificent things in the 2000s, something owner Shahid Khan probably expected to continue when he took over in 2013.
Instead, Khan got one year of Premier League football, a season that involved three managers and a lot of tumult en route to relegation.
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Now after two seasons of failing to bounce back to the top flight, Khan is pledging to support manager into 2016-17 with the aims of returning to the Premier League.
In a message to season ticket holders on Fulham’s site, Khan said the following regarding the team under former Watford manager Slaviša Jokanović, who took over Fulham on Dec. 27:
Slaviša will be given the green light to build a team capable of promotion, and that’s important, because it appears the Sky Bet Championship will be as difficult as ever.
The complete support and passion of our loyal fans will be crucial as we begin our first full season under Slaviša’s direction and take aim at promotion, and that’s why season ticket prices will not increase next season. We want and need you with us!
Fulham is in the Championship’s 21st place, nine points clear of the drop zone but 23 points off the promotion playoff pace. That’s 39 points away from the automatic promotion spots, so smart buys and plenty will be needed to improve the club for a run at the Premier League (especially with at least two sizable clubs joining the Championship next season in Aston Villa and Sunderland and/or Newcastle United).
The Cottagers, in the past sometimes described as “Fulhamerica”, have a pair of American players in Emerson Hyndman and Tim Ream, though the former is expected to move onto greener pastures in the summer. U-21 midfielder Luca de la Torre is another Yank at Craven Cottage.
French striker Moussa Dembele has been delivering on his promise for Fulham, and now may be headed across London.
Just not where we expected.
Sky Sports is reporting that Dembele, 19, is expected to finalize a deal to join Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side this summer, reinvigorating a strike force led by Diego Costa, Alexandre Pato, Pedro and Loic Remy.
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Dembele has 16 goals this season for Fulham, which is now safely above the drop zone in the Championship.
So three months after nearly making our dreams come true with a proposed move to join Mousa Dembele at Tottenham, Moussa Dembele could be the lone Moussa Dembele at Stamford Bridge.
By the way, Pato wants to stay, too, and backed Conte. From the London Evening Standard:
“Conte will do very well here,” he added. “He’s a guy who has a real desire to win. He revolutionised Juventus, winning a lot. I am sure that it will be the same here.
“He will sign the players Chelsea need.”
Fulhamerica is alive, at least for a day. What a critical day it may end up being for the Craven Cottage set.
U.S. prospect Emerson Hyndman buried a stoppage time goal to give the Cottagers an upset with over visiting Cardiff City on Saturday.
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The three points move Fulham 10 points clear of the drop with five matches to play in the English Championship.
From FulhamFC.com, here’s Cottagers boss Slaviša Jokanović:
“Today it was Emerson’s birthday so he has had a great present for himself and for all of us.
“He is probably one of our most talented players. I am a little bit disappointed in myself for not finding more minutes for him this year.
“I believe in front of him he has a brilliant future and he is a very talented player. He is quality on the ball. I believe in the future he can be a very important player for us.”
Hyndman is expected to leave Fulham for greener pastures in the summer, but this is a fine memory to leave his fans.
The 20-year-old midfielder has one cap for the USMNT, and has made more than 20 appearances for Fulham since leaving FC Dallas in 2011.
Emerson Hyndman has had a roller coaster time at Fulham thanks in large part to the English club’s managerial instability.
The 19-year-old midfielder, once capped by Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT, has had enough and is looking toward the future. Among those linked with the youngster in a recent report are West Ham United, Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund, Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich.
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But Manchester United is reportedly leading the way, and would be quick to loan Hyndman out according to a report from HITC:
A Fulham source told HITC Sport: “He looks to be on his way, we have been told of a number of clubs who want him and are offering big deals, but United look to be in the strongest position.”
Hyndman is a lock for the U.S. U-23’s Olympic efforts against Colombia and, hopefully, the tournament in Rio itself.
His destination is a tricky one. Hyndman has a very high ceiling and has been back playing regularly for Fulham since early December under Slaviša Jokanović, and the Cottagers are six points ahead of the drop.
We’d love to see him anywhere that keeps him playing regularly at a high level. And loans are tricky business when it comes to players featuring in a club’s plans. Like Matt Miazga moving to Chelsea, there are no easy answers here other than waiting, but we’ll root for Hyndman to go somewhere with a bit less of a battle for minutes, and stability, than Old Trafford.
Saido Berahino has been involved in heavy transfer rumors for a number of years. Things boiled over this past summer as Tottenham was attempting to secure his services, and now it appears Newcastle may make a run that could go down to the wire yet again.
According to multiple reports across England, Newcastle had a bid in the $30 million region rejected by West Brom, and the two appear to be at odds. The reports claim West Brom do not intend to sell, but that Newcastle will look to force their hand. Will Newcastle overbid for the 22-year-old? Or will the Baggies keep their man?
Tottenham could apparently be back in the mix as well, especially after their proposed move for Fulham’s Moussa Dembele could be off. No, not the midfielder Mousa Dembele that just signed a contract extension with the London club (who was also purchased from Fulham) but the 19-year-old Frenchman who has scored nine goals for the Whites in Championship play this season.
He was rumored to be a favorite of Spurs, with a $7 million deal on the table, but that might have vanished after Fulham reportedly demanded that Dembele be loaned back to them for the rest of the season, something which Spurs did not desire to do.
This isn’t exactly a win for Fulham. They’re in no man’s land in the Championship table, more fighting against relegation than for anything at the top, and Dembele’s contract expires this summer. This is also a loss for all Premier League fans who wanted desperately to see two players with nearly the exact same name play for the same club.
Finally, Arsenal target Andriy Yarmolenko is apparently wanted by Stoke City, and Mark Hughes could be ready to submit a bid in an attempt to trump the Gunners, according to the Daily Star. The 26-year-old has eight goals and five assists in 15 league games for Ukranian side Dynamo Kiev, where he’s played his entire eight-year career.