There have been several foreign imports that have lit up the dark nights at Craven Cottage over the years.
American Clint Dempsey provided a number of special performances for Fulham supporters during his five-year spell at the club whilst the enigmatic Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov produced a number of unforgettable moments during his two seasons with the Premier League side.
Following in the footsteps of these two strikers, Konstantinos Mitroglou decided to make the switch to the London after a highly successful spell with Greek giants Olympiacos where had scored 56 goals in all competitions over a three year period. Signed for a then club-record fee reported to be in the region of £12m in January 2014 (via The Independent), tasked with trying to save Fulham from Premier League relegation.
A tall, imposing striker with an eye for goal, Mitroglou had all the ingredients needed to succeed in England’s top tier yet unfortunately for the Greece international, it all went horribly wrong. A myriad of injury problems saw him play on just three occasions for Fulham with the forward being unable to score a single goal despite signing for such a hefty fee. An awful season for the Cottagers ended in relegation to the Championship, leaving them with no choice but to loan out their marquee signing in the summer with Mitroglou rejoining Olympiacos after just six months away.
Back at the Super League club, the striker regained his confidence in front of goal, scoring 19 goals in 33 appearances as Erythrolefki won both the title and the Greek Cup. Following this highly successful campaign, Mitroglou was loaned out yet again by Fulham but this time to Portugal as he joined Benfica where he was equally as impressive. Notching 25 goals in all competitions for the Aguias, he helped his side lift the Liga NOS title ahead of rivals Porto and Sporting Lisbon.
Despite clearly illustrating a talent for scoring goals, Fulham decided to cut ties with their club-record signing altogether in 2016 by letting him join Benfica on a permanent deal. This decision must have perplexed the club’s supporters who were probably wondering just why Mitroglou wasn’t given more of a chance to show what he could do at Craven Cottage.
The intriguing career of the former Atromotos loanee saw him fire home his best ever total for a single season in the 2016/17 campaign as he bagged 27 for Benfica which included 16 in the league as the club defended their league title and added the Taca de Portugal to their growing list of honours.
Understandably impressed by Mitroglou’s sensational form in the Iberian Peninsula, Marseille decided to swoop for the forward at the start of last season, bolstering manager Rudi Garcia’s attacking options. A successful debut campaign followed for the 31-year-old as he helped the Ligue 1 side to a top-four finish in France whilst also reaching the UEFA Europa League final, a game which they would end up losing 3-0 to Atletico Madrid.
Despite experiencing three successful seasons on the bounce in terms of scoring, Mitroglou has not been anywhere near as impressive during the current campaign and is currently on loan at Turkish side Galatasaray. Only time will tell whether he begins to fire once again in front of goal as if he does, it will go to prove that maybe, just maybe, Fulham gave up on him too early during his time in England.