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Zamora now out five months: What does it mean for Fulham?

16 September 2010

Multiple media reports this morning have adjusted the recovery timeline for Bobby Zamora, putting the Fulham striker out of action for five months after ligament damage was found during the surgical process to repair his broken leg.

Hmm, so few striker options and so many matches...

While not entirely shocking, the pushback of a possible return date to beyond the January transfer window could make for some interesting decisions for Fulham. Depending on where they sit in the table, how certain they are that Zamora will be fully recovered for the final three months of the season and what other options like Andrew Johnson do in the interim, they may be tempted to make a move in the winter that wasn’t necessarily planned a week ago.

Chances are that Fulham has enough quality to stay comfortably away from the relegation muck, and Zamora’s injury probably makes a realistic push at top-seven and a Europa League berth unreasonable. That said, stories are starting to surface again about Mark Schwarzer moving to Arsenal with Crystal Palace keeper Julian Speroni on tap for a 750,000-pound transfer in as his roster replacement. If you combine that net gain with some of the savings racked up in the Paul Konchesky/Carlos Salcido swap, plus the surplus from the supposed 15-million pound transfer kitty Mark Hughes reportedly was granted when he took the job, Fulham definitely will have the financial wherewithal to bring in a quality attacker after New Year’s.

Otherwise, will the Cottagers roll the immediate dice on someone like just-turned-19-year-old Finnish striker Lauri Dalla Valle, considered one of Liverpool’s top prospects when he was somehow poached by Fulham as part of the Konchesky deal? He already made a Europa League qualifying substitute appearance for the Reds earlier this season after scoring 20 goals in 28 matches for the Liverpool U-18s last year.

While Zamora’s injury potentially makes Fulham’s season even less compelling from a standings standpoint, it actually could create some intriguing story lines over the next few months as Mark Hughes gets to be creative and assess exactly what he has on his roster before the transfer window. With the expectation a healthy Zamora could be back in February, it’s already like landing a quality transfer on a free, so it will be very interesting to see how Hughes uses his roster and then his transfer war chest to position Fulham for the second half of this season and beyond.

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