Fulham’s capture of Greek international Giorgos Karagounis after his release from Panathanaikos could be seen as something of a desperate gamble by Martin Jol, but the 35-year old could become a vital cog at Craven Cottage if used correctly.
The former Benfica midfielder has been signed on contract which runs till the end of the season after he couldn’t agree terms with the Athens based side.
He then captained the Greek national side at Euro 2012 and scored the vital goal against Russia that saw his unfancied side reach the quarter-finals but has been unable to find a club for the new season before now.
The sale of Mousa Dembele to Tottenham has left the West London side short of attacking midfield options, and the signing of Karagounis gives them a new option to play behind the striker.
He may be coming towards the end of his career, but his intelligence and ability to pick a pass should help a Fulham side that have become much more attractive to watch and have one of the best groups of attackers outside the top eight.
Summer signings Dimitar Berbatov, Hugo Rodallega and Mladen Petric all need good service if they are to provide the goals to propel Jol’s side towards the top half, and the ex-Inter Milan midfielder is the man who will be tasked with providing the crosses and passes that Dembele used to provide.
Damien Duff, Bryan Ruiz and youngster Alex Kacaniklic will fight with the veteran for a place in the side, but if he can work his magic early on in the capital then he could become an instant hit at the Cottage.
The signing of the midfielder is a shrewd signing on Jol’s part and a good season in England looks set to be the final hurrah in what has been a memorable career.