Jack Stroudley takes a closer look at Fulham’s first rumour of the January transfer window.
As we head closer to the festive period, we approach the most wonderful time of the year – the January transfer window! The endless rumour mill of incomings, outgoings and the inevitable link to Dwight Gayle is just around the corner and we already have our first potential incoming.
Angelo Fulgini is allegedly on Marco Silva’s radar from Ligue 1 side Angers, with bids being speculated between £10m and £18m, this is quite a hefty chunk to spend in January, but it begs the question: just who is Angelo Fulgini?
Fulgini’s fact fileEmbed from Getty Images
Fulgini is a 25-year-old attacking midfielder and has been at Angers since 2017. The former French U21’s youth career took off at Valenciennes, where he was from 2007 until 2013 when he was promoted to the Valenciennes B team. A string of good performances Saw Fulgini promoted to the main side.
Aged between 17 and 19, Fulgini was able to gain valuable experience playing in the second division in France, with 80 league appearances for mid-table Valenciennes, scoring six goals and getting two assists during that time. He was then signed by Angers in 2017.
Since then, Fulgini has gone from strength to strength, developing well at Angers with lots of playing time. At 25, Fulgini is now approaching the peak of his powers, becoming a regular starter for the French side who this season are performing above expectation sitting in seventh at time of writing.
The real breakdownEmbed from Getty Images
Under Angers manager Gerard Baticle, Fulgini operates as the most advanced of a midfield three either in a 3-4-3 or a 3-4-1-2 formation. Fulgini is allowed to be expressive with the ball and dribble at defenders at any given moment. Looking at his goal contributions you would be inclined to think he’s having a relatively poor season, with only two goals and two assists. However, when comparing his performance stats to other attacking midfielders, it shows the type of player he truly is.
Compared to other attacking midfielders in the top five leagues (all stats taken per 90 minutes), Fulgini is in the top 12% for dribble completion, 13% for forward passes, 15% for pass completion and 16% for passes attempted. For an attacking midfielder he’s also fairly physical, with a 6’2 frame resulting in him being in the top 37% of arial duels won.
The one area of his game that does need improving though is ultimately the most important for a player operating primarily in the final third, his goal contributions. He is in the bottom 10% for assists per 90 and in the bottom 25% for shot creation. Ultimately, it is evident that Fulgini’s attributes lean towards getting the ball forward as quickly as possible and distributing to other players to create chances, when looking at his defensive stats they are also quite poor viewing being in the bottom 17% for tackles and 10% for blocks.
Interest elsewhereEmbed from Getty Images
Another way of noting how well a player is doing of course is the interest he is attracting from other clubs, and Fulgini certainly has had that in abundance. In the summer there were rumours from Southampton, Burnley, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Newcastle and even after the transfer window, Angers manager Gerard Baticle came out publicly and stated he was surprised that Fulgini was still at his disposal.
The interest this time round isn’t just with Marco Silva’s Fulham, according to rumours Burnley have also shown an interest in signing the French midfielder, but according to certain reports the Lancashire side are deterred by the price tag while Fulham are keener to get this one across the line.
Fulgini to Fulham?Embed from Getty Images
After taking a deeper dive into Fulgini as a player, is it someone Fulham really need? In honesty I’m not sure. I personally think a lot of it whittles down to the future of Fabio Carvalho. If Fabio is to go, then yes, we could do with an attacking midfielder. Despite all of this it could also be argued that the signing of Domingos Quina has been a failure and Marco sees a gap in the squad that needs plugging and sees Angelo Fulgini as his man.
Despite all of this, it is positive to see that Fulham are willing to spend in January (hopefully with one eye on a potential Premier League campaign next season) and I don’t think Fulgini will be the last rumour we have between now and the January deadline.