Fulham could be set to lose Belgian international forward Moussa Dembele as the Premier League’s big boys form a queue for his services.
Dembele took a while to settle in since his move from AZ Alkmaar in August 2010, but his displays over the 2011 season were outstanding and they haven’t gone unnoticed as teams line up a move for the 24 year old.
Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham have been credited with an interest for the Fulham star, whose contract expires in a year’s time. These clubs are clearly seeing that they could get a bargain as Fulham won’t want to risk losing Dembele for nothing in 2013.
If Dembele becomes available, which club should he join?
Manchester United: The Red Devils are looking for fresh firepower with Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov seemingly heading for the exit at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck is a strong core of strikers, but they need another player in the position to compensate for Berbatov and Michael Owen’s departures. Dembele is another player like Wayne Rooney who likes to drop off from a striker and create chances, so I think that Dembele is a great fit for United – Rooney’s position behind the striker is crucial to United’s attacking play.
ARSENAL: Despite signing Lukas Podolski, Arsenal are still in the market for another striker. They are believed to have offered cash plus Marouane Chamakh for the Montpellier forward Olivier Giroud, only to see the bid knocked back.
The future of star striker Robin van Persie is likely to dictate what Arsenal look at in the transfer market, but I’m not totally sure where Dembele fits in the Arsenal system.
Wenger’s 4-3-3 system doesn’t really accommodate a deep lying striker, so I think Arsenal should pursue other targets and Dembele should look for somewhere that suits his game better.
TOTTENHAM: Another team that are really looking for a new striker, Spurs have been linked with Giroud, Loic Remy and Leandro Damiao, whilst a permanent deal for Emmanuel Adebayor isn’t totally out of the equation.
Redknapp has often used Rafael van der Vaart behind a central striker and with the Dutchman being touted for a move to Germany, Dembele would be the perfect player to play behind someone like Remy – taking possession and creating chances for pacy players like Bale and Lennon. Would Fulham sell to a local rival? That remains to be seen.
CHELSEA: Chelsea are really splashing the cash after winning the Champions’ League. Eden Hazard is on his way to Stamford Bridge and a deal for Porto’s Hulk could also be in the offing.
Dembele would be joining a strong Belgian contingent at Chelsea, who recently signed Thibaut Courtois, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin be Bruyne, but where would he play? Fernando Torres has recently had crunch talks with the hierarchy at Chelsea over his playing time (or lack of), so would Dembele be treated any better? I highly doubt it.
Having assessed how Dembele would fit in, I think Tottenham is the best move for him right now. He would get instant playing time (if van der Vaart does indeed leave), would be able to stay in London and play alongside players who suit his game.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson may see great value in the Belgian and not many players can resist the lure of Old Trafford – the chance to win titles and play in the Champions League may be too much to turn down for Dembele.
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