Jack Stroudley compares our most recent transfer window to others under the Khan regime.
The dust has settled on a transfer window that left a lot to be desired; we’ve got a squad that’s probably weaker than last season, and constant overtures for our best stars certainly made this a summer window to forget. This is the Khan’s ninth Premier League transfer window, but how does it compare to those before it?
9. 2020/21 (January)
Josh Maja – Bordeaux (Loan)
Stefan Johansen – QPR (Loan)
Jean Michael Seri – Bordeaux (Loan)
Neeskens Kebano – Middlesbrough (Loan)
Maxime Le Marchand – Royal Antwerp (Loan)
Aboubakar Kamara – Dijon (Loan)
This was certainly a dark time. Fulham’s first half of the ‘COVID season’ was certainly one to forget. Lots of late recruitment, mixed with poor results as well as a certain Mr Parker in charge of the club meant that Fulham were teetering on the edge of those relegation spots. A big winter window was needed and, unfortunately, we didn’t get that.
Fulham scored just nine times at home this season, and considering Parker refused to play Mitrovic, loaning out two attacking players on deadline day probably wasn’t the wisest of ideas. Our survival hopes were all resting on Josh Maja to come in and save the day. An impressive brace away at Everton made us think this was a smart piece of business but alas he only scored one more for the remainder of the season and Fulham were subsequently relegated. There were late rumours on deadline day for Josh King, but similarly to Fulham’s season they crashed and burned.
8. 2018/19 (January)
Ryan Babel – Besiktas (Undisclosed)
Lazar Markovic – Liverpool (Free)
Havard Nordveit – 1899 Hoffenheim (Loan)
Aboubakar Kamara – Yeni Malatyaspor (Loan)
Stefan Johansen – West Brom (Loan)
Following our £100m spree of the 2018/19 summer, Fulham had sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and replaced him with Claudio Ranieri. The Italian had given Fulham a bit of hope with wins over Southampton and Huddersfield as well as results against Leicester, Wolves and Newcastle but all eyes were on a crucial transfer window.
It wasn’t to be though. Amid arguing with fans on Twitter Tony Khan’s transfer criteria appeared to be ‘Premier League rejects’ with Ryan Babel (who albeit did okay), Havard Nordevit and Lazar Markovic all coming through the door. Kamara was sent out on loan following ‘penalty gate’ and while Ranieri ultimately failed by his inability to get results, he certainly wasn’t helped by recruitment.
7. 2013/14 (January)
Ryan Tunnicliffe – Manchester United (Undisclosed)
Larnell Cole – Manchester United (Undisclosed)
John Heitinga – Everton (Free)
Konstantinos Mitroglou – Olympiacos (£11m)
Clint Dempsey – Seattle Sounders (Loan)
William Kvist – VFB Stuttgart (Loan)
Lewis Holtby – Tottenham (Loan)
Phillipe Senderos – Valencia (Undisclosed)
Aaron Hughes – QPR (Undisclosed)
Bryan Ruiz – PSV (loan)
Dimitar Berbatov – Monaco (loan)
We really hate a January window don’t we? Similarly to the two above, our previous summer business hadn’t set the world alight and the need for the Khans to recruit was crucial. On paper, this wasn’t a particularly awful window. Heitinga, Kvist, Holtby were all pretty smart bits of business, but I can’t look past a certain Mr Mitroglou.
For a club record £11m and following Berbatov and Ruiz’s loan moves, the Greek was meant to come in and fire in the goals to keep Fulham in the Premier League. This didn’t happen, a campaign riddled with injuries for the Greek forward who only played for 151 minutes and has just been released by a club in the German sixth tier – make of that what you will.
6. 2013/14 (summer)
Sascha Riether – FC Koln (£1.3m)
Fernando Amorebieta – Athletic Bilbao (Free)
Derek Boateng – Dnipro (Free)
Maarten Stekelenburg – Roma (£4m)
Scott Parker – Tottenham (£3.5m)
Elsad Zverotic – Young Boys (Undisclosed)
Adel Taarabt – QPR (Loan) *recalled in January
Darren Bent – Aston Villa (Loan)
Simon Davies – Solva
Chris Baird – West Brom
Mladen Petric – West Ham
Mark Schwarzer – Chelsea
Kerim Frei – Beskitas (€3.1m)
Dan Burn – Birmingham City (loan)
Marcus Bettinelli – Accrington Stanley (loan)
Shahid Khan took over from the late and great Mohamed Al Fayed in the summer of 2013 and took over a side that despite finishing 12th the season prior was aging, poor and had ended the season with a run of one win in the final eight game. The need for recruitment was necessary and this was a certainly a mixed bag on paper.
Sascha Riether joined following a successful loan spell the season prior and experienced players like Stekelenburg, Parker and Bent all made sense along with the added flair of Taarabt. We lost a few more of the old guard with the likes of Schwarzer, Davies and Baird departing the club in a window which was just pretty average.
Parker was probably the pick of the bunch in terms of signings but as a whole the new intake failed to set the world alight with Fulham ultimately relegated after a 13-year spell in the Premier League.
5. 2023/24 (summer)
Alex Iwobi – Everton (£22m)
Calvin Bassey – Ajax (£18m)
Timothy Castagne – Leicester City (£12m)
Raul Jimenez – Wolves (£6m)
Steven Benda – Swansea City (£745,000)
Adama Traore – Wolves (Free)
Fode Ballo Toure – AC Milan (Loan)
Aleksandar Mitrovic – Al-Hilal (£50m)
Paulo Gazzaniga – Girona (Free)
Ivan Cavaleiro – Lille (Free)
Joe Bryan – Millwall (Free)
Neeskens Kebano – Al-Jazira (Free)
Shane Duffy – Norwich (Free)
Anthony Knockaert – Valenciennes FC (Free)
Kevin Mbabu – FC Augsburg (Loan)
Jay Stansfield – Birmingham City (Loan)
Terence Kongolo – Rapid Vienna (Loan)
I think some people are going to be shocked when they see the most recent summer as low as fifth, but hear me out. Following a fantastic campaign, Fulham had all the scope to push on with some marquee signings to really establish ourselves in the Premier League and despite Silva practically begging for new recruits, the Khans failed him.
I like the signings of Bassey and Castagne, Iwobi is a good player, but £22m is a tad steep. Jimenez seems like a bit of a weird purchase and while we got rid of some deadwood, not adding necessary depth or replacing Mitrovic is criminal from the Khans. Not to mention Palhinha being allowed to fly to Germany on deadline day – what were they thinking?
4. 2018/19 (summer)
Maxime Le Marchand – Nice (£4m)
Jean Michael Seri – Nice (£18m)
Fabri – Beskitas (€6m)
Aleksandar Mitrovic – Newcastle (£22m)
Alfie Mawson – Swansea City (£15m)
Joe Bryan – Bristol City (£6m)
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa- Marseille (£27m)
Andre Schurrle – Borrusia Dortmund (Loan)
Calum Chambers – Arsenal (Loan)
Timothy Fosu-Mensah – Manchester United (Loan)
Sergio Rico – Sevilla (Loan)
Luciano Vietto – Atletico Madrid (Loan)
Ryan Fredericks – West Ham United
David Button – Brighton & Hove Albion (Undisclosed)
Marek Rodak – Rotherham United (Loan)
Marcelo Djalo – Extremadura (Loan)
Rui Fonte – Lille (Loan)
The fact that this window has ended up in fourth tells you all you need to know about our recruitment. Following promotion back to the Premier League in 2018, Fulham fans would’ve hoped to give those who brought us back to the promised land a chance to prove themselves. Sadly that didn’t happen. Ryan Fredericks left the club and none of Kalas, Piazon, Norwood or Targett were brought in.
Mitrovic was the most successful transfer to come out of this window with Bryan paying back every penny for a certain free-kick and Seri having a blinder of a season back in 2021/22. There were a fair few misses though with Mawson, Fabri and Le Marchand sticking to mind. Anguissa on paper was a ludicrous signing but a poor attitude and inability to gel into the system resulted in him struggling, he’s proven the talent he has now at Napoli showing it wasn’t a bad bit of business originally.
3. 2022/23 (January)
Shane Duffy – Brighton & Hove Albion (Undisclosed)
Sasa Lukic – Torino (£9m)
Cedric Soares – Arsenal (Loan)
Nathaniel Chalobah – West Brom (Undisclosed)
Josh Onomah – Preston North End
Anthony Knockaert – Huddersfield Town (Loan)
Kevin Mbabu – Servette (Loan)
On paper, this is a pretty boring transfer window but I think it’s a testament to the recruitment done in the prior summer as well as the incredible start Fulham made before the World Cup. There wasn’t many incomings necessary with the most glaringly obvious position being in midfield. Sasa Lukic was brought in to fill that gap in what has turned out to be a smart piece of business.
Kevin Mbabu was shifted out on loan meaning that Cedric Soares had to come in to deputise for both Tete and Robinson. We continued to clear out some deadwood with the sales of Chalobah and Onomah in what turned out to be a very necessary window.
2. 2020/21 (summer)
Anthony Knockaert – Brighton (£12m)
Antonee Robinson – Wigan Athletic (£2m)
Harrison Reed – Southampton (£6m)
Kenny Tete – Lyon (£3m)
Tosin – Manchester City (£2m)
Terence Kongolo – Huddersfield Town (£4m)
Mario Lemina – Southampton (Loan)
Alphonse Areola – PSG (Loan)
Ola Aina – Torino (Loan)
Ademola Lookman – RB Leipzig (Loan)
Joachim Andersen – Lyon (Loan)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Chelsea (Loan)
Matt O’Riley – MK Dons
Alfie Mawson – Bristol City (Loan)
Steven Sessegnon – Bristol City (Loan)
Marcus Bettinelli – Middlesbrough Loan)
Cyrus Christie – Nottingham Forest (Loan)
Anthony Knockaert – Nottingham Forest (Loan)
I remember being very concerned with this window at the time. Lots of names that weren’t very inspiring along with most of the recruitment being left late certainly had me pondering if we were going to get relegated again. While that did eventually happen, this was still a pretty successful window. Cheap signings such as Tete, Robinson, Reed and Tosin have worked wonders over the years for Fulham and loan signings such as Lookman, Aina, Areola and Andersen should’ve kept Fulham up (I wonder why they didn’t).
This window did still have some misses though, a glaringly obvious one comes in the form of Anthony Knockaert who was brought for £12m only to be loaned to Championship side Nottingham Forest. The signings of Terence Kongolo and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were bizarre and selling Matt O’Riley to MK Dons was criminal in hindsight.
1. 2022/23 (summer)
Joao Palhinha – Sporting CP (£20m)
Andreas Pereira – Manchester United (£10m)
Kevin Mbabu – Wolfsburg (£6.4m)
Bernd Leno – Arsenal (£3m)
Issa Diop – West Ham United (£15m)
Carlos Vinicius – Benfica (£5.5m)
Willian- Corinthians (Free)
Manor Solomon – Shakhtar Donetsk (Loan)
Shane Duffy – Brighton & Hove Albion (Loan)
Dan James – Leeds United (Loan)
Layvin Kurzawa – PSG (Loan)
Fabio Carvalho – Liverpool (£5m)
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa – Napoli (£14.7m)
Jean Michael Seri (Released)
Alfie Mawson (Released)
Cyrus Christie (Released)
Michael Hector (Released)
Steven Sessegnon – Charlton Athletic (loan)
Rodrigo Muniz – Middlesbrough (Loan)
Joe Bryan – OGC Nice (Loan)
Paulo Gazzaniga – Girona (Loan)
Terence Kongolo – Le Havre (Loan)
Jay Stansfield – Exeter City (Loan)
Ivan Cavaleiro – Alanyaspor (Loan)
Anthony Knockaert – Volos (Loan)
What a difference a year makes. Following Fulham’s successes in the Championship under Marco Silva the idea was to build on that and de-bunk the ‘yo-yo’ titles. Fulham as a whole did just that with Joao Palhinha for £20m being at the forefront of a smart transfer window. The signing of players maybe deemed ‘past it’ at former clubs was a smart way of doing things with Leno, Pereira, Diop, Willian and Vinicius all coming in for relatively cheap deals.
Manor Solomon added necessary flair and while there were a few misses (Mbabu and Kurzawa) Fulham’s incomings were a success. In terms of outgoings they were all necessary. Carvalho wanted the move to Liverpool and the club got as much out of it as possible, the same applies to Anguissa and a very large squad had a clear out with the likes of Christie, Hector and Fabri all released.