Kenny Tete’s crucial role in the Championship

Jack Stroudley 15th July 2021

Jack Stroudley looks at the significant role Kenny Tete could play in our upcoming campaign.

As the new season draws closer, a new dawn approaches for Fulham. We begin to dissect the squad for potential departures, incomings and those who could have a pivotal role in our quest for promotion back to the big time.

The obvious names that come to mind are Aleksandar Mitrovic, Tom Cairney and even Harrison Reed. But I think one man who could shine brightest is Kenny Tete.

The story so far

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Kenny arrived last summer from Lyon for roughly £3 million, having played a part in their run to the Champions League semi final the season before. The Dutch international made 80 appearances for the French club across his three-season tenure, and was previously at Ajax, where he played at both youth and senior level. 

Kenny’s arrival was soon met with joy when fans realised his ability to bring the ball forward and deliver a clinical cross. We saw this early on in the season, with him and Mitro partnering up twice in a week to create goals against Ipswich Town and Leeds United. Sadly, he picked up an injury against Aston Villa, which saw him out of action until the new year. When he returned we saw glimpses of his attacking threat while continuing to demonstrate his ability during one on one defending and tackling. 

Slight concerns

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It would be naive of me to think clubs abroad wouldn’t be interested in Kenny Tete. He’s a talented right back at the age of 25, who has shown his ability for both club and country. A lucrative offer may be able to sway the Khans who could see a significant profit margin on Kenny. I for one hope they see past any potential offers and keep hold of what I believe to be a Premier League-level right back. 

The Silva system

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After appointing Marco Silva, I quickly went to YouTube to find lots of insightful videos in regards to his tactical style. Marco likes to play a 4-3-3 or a 4-2-3-1, with impetus on getting full backs forward and essentially ‘outscoring’ opponents. This brand of expansive, fluid, attacking football could be exactly what Kenny needs. The slow, turgid style of Parker clearly nullified his strengths in terms of attacking output. 

That, combined with Mitrovic potentially gaining an extra yard or two of freedom in the championship, could provide something special. Another thing to note is due to Marco’s ‘gung-ho’ style we’ll sometimes find ourselves exposed to counter attacks. Kenny’s pace and tackling ability is something that can be utilised by Marco to try and limit opposition attacks from creating key chances. 

Our flying Dutchman?

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To summarise, I think that Kenny Tete’s ability in both the defensive and attacking phases should leave us all excited. Kenny is a man who completed as many successful crosses as the highly-rated Kieran Tierney last season, despite playing fewer games – that is a stat we should relish. With Mitrovic and Tete both having the ability to gain that extra yard or two in the second division, could he be a key cog in the Silva system?