On Tuesday the final deadline for buying and selling players in the Premiership passed, and yesterday the club had to name the 25 senior members of the squad (I believe that young players can also play if they are not in the list).
The only transfers on the day were the sale of Paul Konchesky to Liverpool, with part of the fee being made up with two youngsters, Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic. Konch obviously wanted to follow Roy Hodgson to Anfield, and Hughes had time to buy in Carlos Salcido the experienced Mexican international from PSV last week.
I’ve already waxed lyrical about Moussa Dembele, who joined from AZ Alkmaar two weeks ago. Fulham have also bought the Algerian defender Rafik Halliche from Benfica. I think that Halliche was brought in partly due to the long-term injury to Phillipe Senderos, the Swiss centre-back who came from Arsenal at the start of June, while Hodgson was still in charge.
Salcido, Halliche and Senderos all played for their nations at the World Cup this summer, and Dembele is a full international for Belgium. I think this shows how far Fulham have come that the bulk of their signings are at that kind of level.
The other player coming in was Jonathan Greening, who had been on loan from West Brom the previous season. I was a but surprised that he decided to stay, given that he’d been club captain at West Brom and they returned to the Premiership for this season.
As for players leaving, well we already knew that Chris Smalling was going to Man Utd. Okaka Chuka and Nicky Shorey ended their half-season loans to go back to Roma and Aston Villa respectively. Wayne Brown, Adranik, Tony Kallio, Stefan Payne and Michael Uwezu all left on frees. Christopher Buchtmann also left for nothing, even though he’d only been brought in from Liverpool in January. It seems he wasn’t happy living away from home, and so went to 1FC Koln in Germany.
One other change that happened over the summer was that Moritz Volz, the fans’ favourite who was released last year, has signed for St Pauli of Hamburg. He’d stayed in London and over the past year and been training with Fulham and with QPR, but it’s good to see that he’s found a new employer. St Pauli are a bit of a cult club, with a fanbase that includes left-wing punks and anti-racists, and is based near the Reeperbahn. Sounds like a laugh there, and I bet the locals were happy when Fulham beat the local rivals SV in the Europa League semi-final.