Macsen Morgan looks at some of the most versatile men to pull on a Fulham shirt in the Premier League.
A key element of our summer transfer window was player versatility. Alex Iwobi, Calvin Bassey, and Timothy Castagne can all play in more than one position, giving us extra flexibility without perhaps so many bodies in the squad. It made me think about other utility men we’ve had in recent years.
The first versatile player on this list is Denis Odoi. A fan favorite who was a Fulham player for a little less than six years and was a staple throughout two promotions and two relegations. Odoi played all across defence with 97 games at left-back, 56 at center-back, and 19 at right-back in 172 games for Fulham.
His best moment for the Whites was probably his goal against Derby in the play-off semi-final to take us through to the final against Aston Villa. The Belgian defender left in 2021 to join Club Brugge in his homeland, where he remains today.
Northern Irish defender Chris Baird played 172 games for the club – 46 of those were as a defensive midfielder, 30 were at right-back, 11 were at centre-back, and five were as a left-back over a four-year period between 2007 and 2012.
While not known for his goalscoring or attacking prowess, Baird was a source of stability in defense whether he played in the midfield or across the backline. His most memorable moment was a brace against Stoke City in the Premier League.
Aina only played a season for Fulham, but he still managed to play across every defensive position during his loan spell from Torino in 2020. The Nigerian played 13 games at right-back, 13 at centre-back, six at left-back and a solitary game as a DM. An aggressive, no-nonsense defender, Aina was a key player during our relegation-bound Covid-impacted campaign of 2020/21. Despite the Whites’ failures, his most memorable moment was the 40-yard screamer against West Brom, which was unfortunately scored in front of an empty Craven Cottage.
Bobby De Cordova-Reid
The final player on this list is our current Swiss Army Knife. De Cordova-Reid has become known as the player that you could put at every position on the pitch and he would probably still perform, this is shown by the fact that he has played games in no fewer than nine positions over his Fulham career. He’s played 42 games in attacking midfield, 31 on the left wing, and 26 on the right. He’s also played eight games at right-back – the majority coming last season.
The most incredible thing is that he’s done all of this in less than 200 games. BDR’s ability to adapt to whatever position he’s asked to play is his best attribute, and whether he plays in attack or defence, on the wings or on the centre. He still manages to hold a starting position and was one of the first names on the team sheet in the Championship-winning season.