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Transfer news: Cottagers land wizard of AZ

18 August 2010

Rumored for a week, Fulham has finalized its swoop for AZ Alkmaar wing/striker Moussa Dembele. If he can flash any of this kind of skill in the Premiership, this could be a very high-quality purchase for the Cottagers:

While Fulham continues to ponder its options to enhance its strike force, the addition of a fast, skilled winger type like Dembele suggests that the Cottagers may really need to move to some sort of a 4-2-3-1. Zamora would anchor up top and be supported by Dembele, Zoltan Gera and Simon Davies/Damien Duff/Clint Dempsey, with Dickson Etuhu and Danny Murphy sitting underneath. With several creative types playing off of Zamora’s target-man game, you could see some very skillful buildups, especially in transition.

That said, for American soccer fans, this may be another blow to Dempsey’s chances of being a long-term piece of the Fulham puzzle. Mark Hughes already is showing a preference for Davies and Duff on the wings, and Dembele is now another prime option at both wing and striker, potentially squeezing Dempsey further down the depth chart.

Fulham’s best moments on Saturday came after Dempsey came on, so maybe he’ll get a start against United this weekend to see if they can build on that. With no European play this season, though, there will be less of a need to rotate starters, which means barring injury or fighting his way into the starting lineup ahead of two other options, Clint may be resigned to life as a 20-minute sub or a push to transfer elsewhere. Definitely worth watching.

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