This article forms part of our Profit Players feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how well a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how good of a deal the club managed to achieve.
When signing from Bolton Wanderers in August 2015, Tim Ream was looking to follow in the footsteps of Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra and become another successful American export at Fulham.
Having been told he was free to leave the club upon the arrival of Slavisa Jokanovic at Craven Cottage later that year, it may have seemed unlikely he would significantly add to the history his compatriots had made at the club.
And what was a mere £1.5m signing (according to Transfermarkt) turned out to be arguably the piece of the puzzle that helped Fulham temporarily regain their top-flight status.
He had to work his way into Jokanovic’s plans, and arguably did not manage to claim a regular starting spot until a year into the Serbian’s tenure, which led to Fulham suffering play-off heartbreak at the hands of Reading in the 2016/17 season.
Everything came together in the following campaign, as Ream’s part in Fulham’s long unbeaten stretch of games and run to the Championship play-off final saw the American become the club’s Player of the Season as they secured promotion to the top tier.
His performances in that campaign had fans and journalists singing his praises:
Tim Ream really has become a quite brilliant player for us. So confident, solid and reliable #FFC
— Ivan Berry (@Ivan_berry) February 21, 2018
Tim Ream – Fulham. Most consistent and reliable player this season. Has grown immensely as a player these past 2 seasons #FFC
— Jo Zanetti (@jozanetti) April 2, 2018
One of Jovanovic’s more unnoticed successes, for me, is Tim Ream. Was a culprit in the leaky defences of previous managers, but now consistently reliable and brave, on top of the technical talent he showed at Bolton.
— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) April 3, 2018
While last season would end in despair, Ream has continued to front the fight for promotion once again, playing in all but one of Fulham’s league fixtures as they strive to bounce back immediately under Scott Parker.
Ream’s status in the squad represents a remarkable turnaround for a player who Jokanovic had not initially wanted, and considering the small fee that brought him to Craven Cottage, it is nothing short of a great success story for the 32-year-old, who remains a vital component of the team after relegation.
And by recently extending his deal at the club until 2021, Fulham will surely be hoping they can continue to profit from their wise decision to recruit the USA international over four years ago.
Fulham fans, how important has Ream been to the team’s progress in the last few years? Let us know below!
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