Martin Jol’s Fulham have been linked with Swansea’s Scott Sinclair and an emerging Dutch star by the name of Luciano Narsingh. With limited options on the wings, neither transfer is unlikely; Fulham need wingers if they are to break through the ceiling and secure European football.
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Scott Sinclair has attracted attention ever since he burst onto the scene as a Chelsea youngster. Always tipped for success, Sinclair enjoyed numerous loan spells at Championship clubs before signing permanently for Swansea in 2010. His first season at the club ended in promotion with Sinclair netting a hat-trick in the play-off final.
His second year at the club has been solid if not dazzling, with 8 goals and 4 assists in his first full season in the top flight. At only 23, his best years are still ahead of him.
Narsingh is a Dutch winger currently playing for Heerenveen. An out-and-out winger, the 21 year old lit up the Eredivisie this year with an astonishing 20 assists. As with Sinclair, the youngster is blessed with speed and dribbling skills, and has already attracted the attention of Ajax.
Jol’s Dutch contacts are presumably strong, and his scouting network appears to have pinpointed the next big thing in his native Holland. Whether they can fend off competition from more illustrious sides – particularly now the story has been leaked to the press – remains to be seen.
Both of these wingers are tricky little players that use the width of the pitch, providing an attacking flair characterised by mazy slaloms and slick movement. Fulham’s first-team squad is obviously deficient in this area, with the possible exception of Damien Duff. They only currently have 3 strikers, and there is a conspicuous absence of pace across the entire team.
The statistics from last season imply a traditional winger is something Jol desperately needs. whoscored.com shows that 38% of Fulham’s attacks last season came through the middle – higher than any other team. Conversely, attacks from the left hand side of the pitch were only 27% – the fewest in the league. To solidify this point, only Blackburn made fewer crosses than the Cottagers, who average 17 per game.
Sinclair would surely consider a move to London a step up from Swansea, particularly given the prominence of short passing at the Welsh club and the desperate need for wingers at Craven Cottage. Narsingh could be the next big thing, and Jol will need to snap him up soon before he hits the radar. One more season and he may just become too ambitious a target for a club like Fulham.
Both represent perfect opportunities for the Cottagers to strengthen the area where they are most deficient.
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