McDonald joins as Fulham prepare for life without McCormack?

Yesterday, Fulham announced the £1.25m signing of long-term transfer target, Kevin McDonald from Wolves. A player that held talks with the club last summer but decided to stay with Wolves last season. 

Interesting to see that McDonald has joined the club this time around, and for just £1.25m it shows there is still some value left in the market, especially when everyone seems to have inflated price-tags these days, including Grant Hanley – £5.5m to Newcastle, Wow!

McDonald is definitely a solid signing for Fulham and his presence in midfield will definitely be welcomed by many. Standing at 6’1 the Scottish midfielder, has seen his reputation grow over the last 3 years with Wolves, with many fans stating he is one of the best midfielders in this division. While natural pace isn’t one of McDonald’s defining abilities, his passing range and strength in the centre of the park is something that we lack. While, some Wolves fans have likened him to the play style of Jamie O’Hara, I’m more than certain that those reports are influenced by his departure.

After speaking to a few Wolves fans, they have described the Scot as a natural centre midfielder, possessing an impressive passing range and enforcing presence, which seemingly means that Fulham have grabbed themselves a bargain. Although, McDonald didn’t have the best of season last year due to many different reasons, he did win the ‘Player of the Season’ award for his efforts throughout the 2013/2014 season at Wolves.  Despite McDonald not being an out and out anchor man, his overall play-style should suit the possession based game that Slavisa Jokanovic is trying to implement. McDonald is expected to travel to Portugal to join up with the rest of the squad in the next 24 hours for their next few friendlies. 

While McDonald has become our eighth signing this summer, Fernando Amorebieta has officially completed his move to Sporting Gijon. The Venezuelan did write a very thoughtful leaving message to the fans (which can be read here) and I will definitely miss the former Bilbao man.  Personally, I believe that Amorebieta was nowhere near as bad as some fans made him out to be and considering he is naturally one of the better centre backs we had with the ball at his feet, his overall play-style could have suited Jokanovic’s style perfectly this summer. Unfortunately, Amorebieta goes down as another casualty of the managerial nightmare that has occurred over the last three years, and with the Venezuelan constantly asked to play alongside different partners or at left-back, it was incredibly tough for him to gain any consistency. But there is no doubting the defenders ability, and he proved that during his impressive loan spells at Middlesbrough and showed what he was capable of upon his return. Although, he has departed I wish him all the best as he returns to Spain and I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes a transfer to be a better La Liga side next summer. 

Finally, it seems that Fulham could be preparing for life without Ross McCormack as the talismanic striker’s departure seems ever so likely. With Ross not included in any promotional material for the new kit, it was clear that there were doubts over his future. His absence in pre-season hasn’t gone unnoticed and with the player not travelling to Portugal for the next set of friendlies, a move to Norwich is reportedly on the cards.  

It will be sad to see Ross leave the club, especially as he has been the club’s main output for goals and assists over the last two seasons, but with Jokanovic changing the style and system, Ross’ reliance on a strike partner, would limit Jokanovic’s options for next season.

Should Norwich pay the rumoured £13-15m, Fulham would have the funds to find a replacement that Jokanovic requires this summer. But what is for definite, is that Fulham cannot allow McCormack to leave the club without a replacement lined up. If there is a delay in between the departure of Ross and the new signing, it could leave it a bit too late to have the new striker ready for the Newcastle game. 

In other news, Fulham have been linked with moves for Anderlecht powerhouse, Kara Mbodji and Lech Poznan attacker, Muhamed Keita. Although, I don’t think Mbodji would join Fulham this summer, if Rigg and Jokanovic could persuade him to the join the club, it would definitely be considered a coup. The Senegalese man-mountain could easily slot into the side with him being more than comfortable as a central defender or as a holding midfielder. His presence and build would also be the closest thing we have ever had to a Dickson Etuhu or Bouba Diop replacement after all these years. 

Thank you ever so much for reading and you can tweet your thoughts to me – @ABronsSmith

 

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