For Huddersfield Town’s Jordan Rhodes it has been a case of when not if the Premier League clubs come calling. 71 goals in 122 appearances later, the call up could be imminent.
According to the Mirror and the Daily Mail, Rhodes looks set for a £3.5m move to Fulham after this Saturday’s playoff final. With the 22 year old set to go on holiday after Saturday’s game against Sheffield United, Martin Jol is desperate to secure the services of the Scottish striker immediately.
Rhodes has been a focus of attention for several Premier League teams. In January both West Ham and Everton expressed interest in the youngster and since then they have been joined by the likes of Tottenham, Norwich and Aston Villa. Yet Fulham’s aggressive transfer play has made them the frontrunners to get his signature.
The Scot could be an important part of Martin Jol’s side, which has struggled to find a consistent goal scorer other than Clint Dempsey. With Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson never really working out at Craven Cottage, Rhodes could be just the man to ease the burden on the American at the heart of Fulham’s attack.
Yet serious underlying questions exist about how ready the Huddersfield man is to step up to the top tier of English football. His goal scoring to appearance ratio is the best in the country this season with the Scot scoring 12 goals in his first 13 games. The striker also netted back-to-back hat tricks against Exeter and Preston in October, demonstrating that his goal scorining abilities cannot be questioned.
Yet whilst back-to-back hat tricks are impressive, scoring against Preston and Exeter is not the same as goals at Old Trafford or Anfield. In addition, the striker has not had regular Championship experience with the majority of his performances coming in League 1. Clubs may be weary of whether he can score 25 goals a season or whether he will collapse under the spotlight of the Premiership
In Fulham, Rhodes would be joining a team that is certainly on the rise under Martin Jol. After a 9th place finish this season the Dutchman must certainly be aiming to steer his side towards European competition in 2012/2013. However another club that may take the Scot’s fancy are Everton. With countryman David Moyes at the helm the Toffees finished in 7th this season and will also surely be competing for a European spot next season
Everton may be a good fit for the Scotsman with David Moyes a genius at integrating lower league players into the Premiership. Furthermore with Fellaini, Cahill, Osman and Jelavic also in the squad Rhodes may have a lesser role on Merseyside than if he joined Fulham, who are clearly looking to reinvigorate their strikers with some much needed youth.
Fulham seems the likely destination for the Huddersfield man. Jol has gone after the player as soon as he possibly could which will certainly appeal to the striker. At Craven Cottage Rhodes will be thrust under the spotlight almost immediately – despite the talent of Dempsey, Fulham desperately need a goalscorer along with young attacking talent. If Rhodes feels he can be the main man then Fulham is certainly his club.
Yet when it comes to sensibility Everton could certainly be a good choice. Needless to say, wherever he does end up …Jordan Rhodes will be playing Premier League football next year.
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