Jack Stroudley looks back at Fulham’s misfires in the winter window.
The January transfer window is usually a pretty difficult time; clubs are reluctant to sell their best players and rivals are often looking for stop-gaps to help plug areas of the squad until the end of the season. Nevertheless, Fulham have certainly been active in winter windows in the past, and while some have been hits, we’ve certainly had some misses. Five winter signings to remember is coming soon, but lets take a trip down memory lane at five players who failed to make a name for themselves in SW6.
Emmanuel Frimpong – 2012/13 (loan from Arsenal)
The 2012/13 season was when the wheels started to fall off for Martin Jol’s Fulham, with the early seeds of relegation being planted. In the summer we sold Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele, Dickson Etuhu, and Danny Murphy, and it became very apparent very quickly that we needed midfielders. The club looked to the loan market in January, bringing in Urby Emanuelson, Eyong Enoh and Emmanuel Frimpong.
Both Emanuelson and Enoh have avoided this list due to some okay performances, but Frimpong certainly makes it. The then 21-year-old was juggling football with a music career collaborating in a remix of Lethal Bizzle’s ‘Leave It Yeah’ with the line ‘stay dench or get Frimponged’. Ironically during his six appearances in a Fulham shirt, I can’t think of a single player who got ‘Frimponged’. Frimpong’s last club came in 2017 when he joined Cyprian side Ermis Aradippou. He retired from football all together in March 2019 due to injury.
Larnell Cole – 2013/14 (£500,000 from Manchester United)
Another youngster coming in January this time a season later. Larnell Cole joined Fulham alongside teammate Ryan Tunnicliffe. Cole made just the one appearance during his three years at the Cottage coming off the bench against former club Manchester United in a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford. The winger was loaned to MK Dons, Shrewsbury Town and Inverness CT during his time at Fulham before moving to Tranmere Rovers.
Ironically, I saw Larnell Cole play for Tranmere Rovers against Oxford City in a 3-3 FA Cup First Round tie. He was taken off around the hour mark after a terrible performance. Since then, he’s dropped down the divisions and now plays for National League North side Warrington Town.
Thanos Petsos – 2016/17 (loan from Werder Bremen)
There were a lot of good thingsright about the 2016/17 season. Slavisa Jokanovic had changed the way Fulham play with intricate passing football and the club got a lot of transfers right with the likes of Stefan Johansen, Neeskens Kebano, Floyd Ayite, Denis Oodi, and Kevin McDonald all coming in – but one that certainly didn’t work out was Thanos Petsos, who joined in the January of that season.
I suppose Petsos served the purpose of deputising for Kevin McDonald, but seriously what was the point? The German midfielder made one substitute appearance for the club in an FA Cup fixture against Hull City. Certainly one to forget.
Lazar Markovic – 2018/19 (free transfer from Liverpool)
What a funny old season this was. I remember going to bed on deadline day hopeful we’d get one more in to try and bolster the squad . I woke up to find out we’d signed Lazar Markovic because Aleksandar Mitrovic had recommended it, and burst out into laughter immediately.
Markovic made one appearance as a substitute, during our 3-1 loss to West Ham United. Following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri he never played a Fulham game again. He was released in that summer and now plays his football in Turkey for Gaziantep.
Konstantinos Mitroglou – 2013/14 (£11 million from Olympiakos)
Everyone was waiting for the big Greek to turn up on this list – oh what could’ve been. Following an impressive spell at Olympiakos and with Fulham in desperate need of goals, Fulham made Mitroglou their club record signing back in January 2014 and things could not have gone less to plan.
The forward seemed to be riddled with injuries from the moment he arrived making only three appearances our relegation season. Steve Sidwell said on a podcast that “all he did on the training ground was eat”. The forward was loaned out to Olympiakos and Benfica before being eventually sold to the Portuguese side for £5.5 million.