During the January transfer window, a combination of tight funds, the club’s relegation form and the uncertainty surrounding the long-term future of manager Martin Jol, Fulham were forced into entering the loan market to replenish the squad.
Although Jol had wanted permanent signings to boost a side that was struggling for wins and still stung by the late August losses of Moussa Dembele and Clint Dempsey, it was felt that temporary moves would at least get the Cottagers through until the end of the season, upon which their value could be re-assessed.
So now with Fulham’s Premier League and mid-table status all but secured, we ask which of the club’s loan signings will still be at the club when the squad reconvenes in July for pre-season training.
After catching the eye earlier this season defensively, Riether has been allowed more freedom to express himself going forward in recent weeks and has shown his abilities, scoring and assisting in matches against Sunderland and Tottenham.
Jol has already indicated that he would like to do a permanent deal for the former Wolfsburg man and his performances of late all but confirm that likelihood. A certainty to stay.
Stanislav Manolev – Given Riether’s form at full-back it appeared a strange move to bring in Manolev, nominally a right-back, in the first place from PSV Eindhoven. Indeed, some even indicated the move was to bring an added Bulgarian presence for countryman Berbatov.
Unsurprisingly, the 27-year-old has had little impact at Craven Cottage, making only two appearances in away days at Norwich and Newcastle, and looks unlikely to stay beyond this campaign.
Eyong Enoh – With the Cottagers’ midfield sorely lacking in both depth and talent, Jol moved to bring in the Cameroon international from former club Ajax. However, the defensive-minded midfielder is another to have failed to make the grade so far, only making his debut as a substitute in the victory at Tottenham before picking up an injury on his first start at Newcastle. Will count himself lucky to pick up a permanent contract.
Emmanuel Frimpong – Arrived with high hopes given the potential he has shown on occasion at Arsenal and after Riether is possibly the most successful of Fulham’s loanees.
The 21-year-old has still only made four appearances for the club, three of which coming from the bench, but Jol has indicated that with the player available on a free transfer in the summer, a permanent deal could be struck.
Urby Emanuelson – The Netherlands international is perhaps the biggest disappointmen of Fulham’s loan brigade, arriving from Milan in January with expectations that he could finally provide some form of a replacement for the departed Dembele.
However, only six substitute appearances later and Emanuelson fundamentally appears to lack the frame or the ability to make it in the Premier League, leaving him an unlikely candidate to be signed on a permanent basis despite his shared national allegiance with manager Jol.
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