The chasm between Newcastle United and Fulham exposed…
On the same day that Newcastle United were taking their summer spending to around £50m and Rafa Benitez stated he was hoping to strengthen his squad further, it was a slightly different story for Fulham.
Only 48 hours before the Newcastle clash, the Cottagers sold star player and top scorer Ross McCormack to fellow Championship side Aston Villa.
The two clubs may be in the same division but the chasm between the pair is enormous, as indeed it is between Newcastle and almost every club in the Championship.
Obviously it doesn’t always work out once the teams take to the pitch – but when it comes to advantages/resources, the gap has never been bigger between clubs in the second tier.
Newcastle may have sold players…but all the money has been reinvested in the squad and players such as Matt Ritchie and Mohamed Diame have given up Premier League football for the Championship.
Whilst that is happening on Tyneside, Fulham have seen their two star players (McCormack and Moussa Dembele) who scored 60% of last season’s goals between them, shift clubs. In addition, Konstantinos Mitroglou who was Fulham’s record signing for around £12m in January 2014, ended up hardly playing a game and after scoring 43 goals on loan in the past two years for Olympiakos and Benfica, and has now left permanently for £6m to the Portuguese club.
On the other hand, Fulham have spent only a fraction of the incoming money and their biggest signing for just under £2m is goalkeeper David Button from Brentford.
One of the handful of signings that Fulham hope can fill the gaps left by Ross McCormack and co is midfielder Sone Aluko who arrives on a free transfer from Hull City.
“I think we are a bit short, I have been in two promotions so I know what it takes to fire at the top end and you need a bigger squad than we’ve got.
“It is natural in football for people to come in and out; I still feel we are short, if we get three or four injuries then suddenly we are down to 13 or 14 recognised players.”
“I’m sure he (Fulham Manager Slavisa Jokanovic) is still trying to get players in.”
Nobody would be so foolish as to say/think that Newcastle are certain to win at Craven Cottage on Friday night but what is for sure, is that the two clubs enter the match on the back of very different transfer windows and with contrasting expectations.
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