In what has started to become a rather tiresome saga, the issue surrounding Fulham winger Clint Dempsey’s future continues to build, with his two likely options being either Sunderland or Liverpool.
What would be his best career move?
The American, who can also play as an attacking midfielder or a striker, has been one of Fulham’s most pivotal players since his arrival from New England Revolution in 2007, earning Fulham fans recognition for his efforts by being voted their player of the season both in 2010/11 and 2011/12. However, he has gone from hero, to pariah in a matter of weeks for the fans who once adored him with his attempts to engineer a move out of the club, refusing to play in first game of the season against Norwich.
With the transfer window due to shut in just over a week, Fulham will be looking to sell on their unsettled star with haste in order to search for a suitable replacement, moves to Sunderland and Liverpool have been touted, one of these clubs will be hoping to land the U.S.A international.
Despite Liverpool boss Brendan Rogers stating his interest in Dempsey, and Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill desperate to strengthen his wing/forward options, neither club has made an official approach as of yet, leaving Dempsey to face the consequences so far of his strike. If he is to join one of these two clubs though, it should be Liverpool , and not Sunderland, but why?
To start, despite their extreme downturns in fortunes over the past few years, Liverpool are still considered one of the biggest football clubs, not just in England, but worldwide, able to attract players of such calibre in Luis Suarez, and also with a huge history to boot. They have a young, attacking minded manager in Brendan Rogers, fresh out of guiding Swansea to a comfortable position in their first season back in the top flight, and a board who have shown when entrusting Kenny Dalglish, are willing to provide the funds needed to strengthen the team in order to regain their top four status.
With the likes of Downing struggling last season to attain any momentum at Liverpool following his big money move from Aston Villa, and with Dirk Kuyt moving onto pastures new, Dempsey would be the perfect fit at Liverpool, being able to slot into the team either on the right wing, the left, or even alongside Carroll/Suarez upfront. Dempsey’s undoubted talent would be a perfect foil in any of these positions for the centre midfield partnership of Gerrard and Allen, providing Liverpool with the creative flair that they have so desperately needed.
Despite Sunderland being linked with Manchester City winger Adam Johnson as well, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to see Liverpool make a move for both Dempsey and Johnson, reuniting him with former team-mate and left wing rival Stewart Downing from their days at Middlesbrough. With Downing’s inept form last year, if Liverpool were to add Dempsey to their ranks, then showing him their intentions of returning to Champions League contender-ship by signing the highly underrated Johnson too would surely mean business for them and Dempsey, providing Suarez and the much chastised Carroll with the service they so desperately need from the flanks.
Such options I feel are not available at Sunderland, even if they manage the coup of signing either Johnson, Dempsey, or both. Despite Martin O’Neill s great managerial capabilities, Sunderland do not have the quality in any of their first eleven, let alone their entire squad, their only recognised strikers being the rather inconsistent Fraizer Campbell, and the new signing of Louis Saha, who is made of glass.
While Liverpool would certainly be the most viable option out of the two, there is also a third option, repair his relationship at Fulham and remain at the club.
With Moussa Dembele also linked with a move away room Craven Cottage, funds will be freed up for Fulham to consider making a marquee signing of their own, with the option once more being Adam Johnson. If Sunderland are linked with him, then Fulham, who are of equal standing to the North East club, could surely show Dempsey that they are capable of pushing for a consistent top seven finish in the Premier League with astute signings such as Johnson.
Where do you think Dempsey should play his football this season?