One of the most lauded transfers one year ago turned into one of the most disappointing failures in recent Premier League memory as Fulham flop Jean-Michael Seri leaves the relegated Whites to join Galatasaray on loan.
Tracked by the likes of Barcelona and Arsenal, it seemed a coup when Fulham announced the midfielder’s capture from French side Nice for around $32 million. He started Premier League play in excellent form, hitting the ground running with smooth passing, solid link-up play, and what turned out to be Fulham’s goal of the season against Burnley early on.
That goal turned out to be his high-water mark, as the Ivorian’s form dipped sharply with Fulham’s loss total rising higher and higher. Eventually, Seri found himself on the bench behind the likes of Kevin McDonald and Calum Chambers as the season dragged on.
Seri’s loan to Galatasaray reportedly comes with a meager $1.6 million loan fee with an unreported option to buy tacked on. He will link back up with Ryan Babel who joined Fulham on a short-term contract in January and looked bright on the wing before his deal ran out and he moved to the Turkish club as a free agent.
Fulham is making wholesale changes this summer, with the departure of Babel and Seri offset by the arrival of Ivan Cavaliero and Martell Taylor-Crosswell, with more moves rumored. The Whites have been linked with Anthony Knockaert of Brighton.
The DFB also said on Monday that Jadon Sancho’s booking for removing his jersey to reveal a T-shirt with the demand “Justice for George Floyd” had nothing to do with the message — rather, the yellow card was issued because the 20-year-old England forward broke a rule that says players who celebrate goals by taking off their jerseys or lifting them over their heads must be booked for “unsporting behavior.”
Borussia Dortmund teammate Achraf Hakimi, 21, who displayed the same message after scoring in the same game on Sunday, was not booked because he did not lift his jersey over his head.
The DFB control committee is looking into their gestures and those made by Schalke’s 21-year-old American midfielder Weston McKennie and Borussia Monchengladbach’s 22-year-old French forward Marcus Thuram to see if the four players broke laws that prohibit players from displaying “political, religious or personal slogans.”
Thuram on Sunday took a knee after scoring in Borussia Monchengladbach’s win over Union Berlin.
Sancho and Hakimi followed suit later Sunday.
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died on Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck. Three other officers were also at the scene. Chauvin has been charged with murder and all four were fired.
DFB president Fritz Keller on Monday showed his respect and understanding for McKennie, Thuram, Sancho and Hakimi’s gestures.
“If people are discriminated against on the basis of their skin color, it is unbearable. If they die because of their skin color, then I am deeply distraught,” Keller said in a DFB statement. “The victims of racism need all of us to show solidarity.”
Keller referred to meetings with victims of discrimination and representatives of organizations that have faced anti-Semetic, anti-Muslim or racist hostility, and said the DFB and German soccer was showing its clear rejection of all forms of racism, discrimination and violence.
Keller also praised both male and female players for taking a stand and showing their solidarity.
“I’m proud of them. I can completely understand the actions from the weekend. Nobody can be indifferent to what happened in the United States,” Keller said.
Former Mainz forward Anthony Ujah was just given a warning by the DFB in 2014 in regard to the ban on political statements when he displayed a T-shirt with Eric Garner’s name and the words “can’t breathe” and “justice,” in reference to Garner’s death after a police officer placed him in what appeared to be a chokehold.
Now playing for Union Berlin, Ujah on Thursday tweeted a picture of his protest from the time, but with Floyd’s name typed above in bold.
Floyd also said “I can’t breathe” before he died.
“If the DFB’s control committee wants to investigate, then I have to ask myself if we all have the same values,” Union sporting director Oliver Ruhnert said. “It’s about a global issue here: The no to racism.”
A great early save from Timo Horn on Timo Werner preceded Koln’s opener.
Elvis Rexhbecaj timed his run well and knifed to the near post, where he shot through the legs of Leipzig goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.
The ball hit the post and skittered into the box and Gulacsi could only get a piece of Cordoba’s left-footed attempt.
Leipzig leveled when Upamecano dribbled up the heart of the pitch before finding Man City loanee Angelino on the left for a perfect cross and Schick header. Angelino had an exceptional day on the left flank.
Leipzig took its lead in the 38th minute with a deft finish from Nkunku, who took Konrad Laimer’s perfect feed and popped it over a charging Horn for 2-1.
Werner finished off a lightning counter as Gulacsi collected a free kick and hit a perfect punt to the league’s second-leading scorer.
Modeste hit an absolute hammer to make it 3-2, but Leipzig restored the two-goal advantage when Olmo hit a seeing-eye shot through the traffic to cap three goals in seven minutes between the two sides.
French striker Modeste won a penalty that was denied by VAR with under 20 minutes to play, he then missed wide after beating the keeping one 1v1 break with four minutes to play.
Americans Abroad: American midfielder Tyler Adams continued his streak of playing in every Leipzig match since the break when he came off the bench just before the hour mark.
Adams hit 94 percent of his 18 passes, drawing three fouls, making an interception, and winning three of four duels.
Lionel Messi is going to spend at least one more year with Barcelona.
The world’s best player had an exit clause in his contract that allowed him to leave without a transfer fee, but that expired at Midnight according to Marca.com.
Messi has 19 goals and 12 assists in just 22 La Liga appearances this season, one of just four players in Europe’s top five leagues to collect double-digit goals and assists (Jadon Sancho, Serge Gnabry, Alassane Plea).
It had been reported since November that Messi would not exercise his option to leave the club, but there were numerous reasons to think he might rethink things given problems at Barcelona.