Wolves and Fulham both had very similar summers. Both were promoted to the Premier League, and both spent a lot of money.
Wolves spent over £60m on transfers during the summer, whereas Fulham broke the £100m mark. After winning the Championship last season, Wolves’ manager Nuno Espírito Santo showed his intent of taking the Premier League by storm and the signing of Adama Traoré was a signal of this intent.
Similarly, after winning the play-off final last season, Fulham manager Slaviša Jokanović equally showed the London club’s ambition in making a move for André Schürrle.
Both players may prove vital in both clubs’ first season back in the Premier League, so let’s compare these two transfers…
Fulham signed Schürrle from Borussia Dortmund on a two-year loan deal in one of the most bizarre transfers of the summer.
This was a World Cup winner with Germany and a Premier League winner with Chelsea, and he was moving to a newly promoted outfit.
This may have surprised many fans that haven’t been following the German’s career since he left Chelsea in 2015, but it has been on a decline. This resulted in him missing out on a place for his nation’s World Cup defence, so he needed a fresh start.
That’s where Fulham offered him a new lease of life. An ambitious club that play a good brand of football and were keen on bolstering their squad was the perfect destination for the 27-year-old.
The German has made a good start to life at Craven Cottage, bagging two goals in four games, as Fulham sit in 13th place. Furthermore, as Aleksandar Mitrović looks to be coming into form for The Whites, this could be a very promising season for Schürrle.
Although this is only a loan deal, the potential of it becoming a permanent is a real possibility, particularly if his two year spell is successful. But from Fulham’s perspective, two years may be ample to build a bedrock in which they can remain in the Premier League. The German can create the success that will allow new players to join Fulham, as they can be seen as an ambitious club that has potential of winning silverware potentially.
It’s the fact that this is a player with proven quality that has joined the squad that makes this such a good transfer for Fulham. This is a man that assisted Germany’s World Cup winning goal; a claim that very few can make in the Premier League. The addition of his versatility makes this one of the best coups of the summer. Schürrle can play on either wing, or even striker if needs be, which may prove crucial if injuries strike the London club.
Overall, this is a fantastic signing, one which will not only ensure Fulham’s survival in the top flight, but can help them push on to becoming a genuine top ten side in the Premier League.
TT Grade A
As Wolves signed Traoré for £18m from Middlesbrough it was a sign of the ambition by the Portuguese manager Nuno, as the club also broke their transfer record.
At 22-years-old as well, the former Spain under-21 international has a bright future ahead of him. His power, pace and skill set mark him out from other young talents in the league. Furthermore, coming from Barcelona’s famed academy means that he has the credentials to be a world-class player.
The powerful winger is waiting for his first start in the Premier League after four games, only starting in The Wanderer’s League Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday. However, that has not stopped him making an impact when coming from the bench so far this season.
His scorching pace and power leaves defenders struggling to handle him. This caused former Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood to describe the former Barcelona player as ‘a bit of Messi and Ronaldo’, when he was at Villa Park, which goes to show the ability of the player.
His match winning goal against West Ham was a glimpse of what he can provide to Nuno’s side. His raw pace to beat the chasing defenders, as well as his powerful finish was a brilliant showcase of what he can offer to Wolves this season.
The one negative regarding this transfer is that Traoré (valued at £16.2m on Transfermarkt.co.uk) remains an unknown quantity. He has had two spells in the Premier League with Aston Villa and Middlesbrough, and while he looked impressive at times for The Boro, he flattered to deceive.
However, he has matured since then, and this season may be the one where he stamps his mark on the Premier League. From Wolves’ perspective, this may also be a very good investment, as there is a chance that the youngster could be on the way to some of Europe’s biggest clubs in the future. Overall, a very good signing.
TT Grade A-
This battle is between the present and the future. Traoré is certainly the future for Wolves, while Schürrle can make an immediate impact for The Cottagers.
That is not to say that Traoré cannot make an impression instantly for Wolves, likewise, Schürrle still has a future at Fulham at the age of 27.
Therefore, this battle is almost too close to call as both clubs made superb signings.
The fact that Schürrle can make, and has already started to make, such an impact at Fulham means he just wins this battle. The German can provide stability and security in the Premier League, whereas his Spanish rival may not necessarily have the credentials to do that for Wolves.
While Fulham have only signed the German on a loan, that could well become permanent in the future, so it isn’t that much of a negative. In fact, Fulham actually saved themselves a transfer fee, and could end up paying a lower price if Schürrle were he to join them in the future.
The fact that Schürrle has a greater chance of defining Fulham’s first season back in the top flight means he just wins this battle.