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Opinion

Fulham trying to loan their way to Premier League survival but should it be allowed?

2 weeks ago
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For a club currently third bottom of the Premier League, Fulham have some quite remarkable recent stats.

Scott Parker’s team have only lost three of their last 13 PL matches, whilst the Cottagers have conceded only 11 goals in these 13 games. Not exactly the kind of stats that you would associate with a club that is one of the three favourites to go down.

On Wednesday it was a massive night for Fulham and to a degree, Burnley…and definitely to a degree Newcastle United.

Steve Bruce and his players currently fourth bottom and ahead of last night’s match, NUFC sandwiched between third bottom Fulham and fifth bottom Burnley.

Many Newcastle fans making the point on social media on Wednesday night, that journalists and pundits are keen to still ask the questions ‘just what do Newcastle fans want?’ and ‘what would make them happy?’, yet here we are in mid-February with Newcastle supporters agonising over the result of Burnley v Fulham…

A win for Fulham would have put them within four points of Newcastle, whilst a win for Burnley would have sent them three points clear of NUFC.

In the event, two goals in quick succession (49 and 52 minutes) meant it was a point each and a point going missing, leaving the Premier League table looking like this on Thursday morning.

I think we are all agreed that a win for Fulham would have been the very worst result for Newcastle but still, if they beat Sheffield United at Craven Cottage on Saturday, they move to within three points of the Magpies and with a better goal difference.

If Fulham win on Saturday then Newcastle lose at Old Trafford as expected on Sunday, that means the following weekend would see key matches with Newcastle home to Wolves and Fulham away at Palace. If everything went wrong, Newcastle United would drop into the bottom three…

Last night’s result appears to have been pretty much what the bookies expected as it left the relegation odds pretty much unchanged.

Sheffield United (1/50) and West Brom (1/40) are now write offs as the bookies see it, sure to go down.

Next though you have Fulham 1/2, Newcastle 2/1, Burnley 12/1, Palace 14/1, Bright 25/1, as things stand, the bookies seeing it as a straight fight between Fulham and Newcastle.

However, what occurred to me last night, is it a fair fight?

Something mentioned last night got me checking, surely it wasn’t true…?

However, it was.

Just look at how many of the Fulham starting eleven are currently at Craven Cottage on loan:

Alphonse Areola (LOAN PSG)

Kenny Tete (Bought £3m Lyon)

Joachim Andersen (LOAN Lyon)

Bobby De Cordova-Reid (Bought £8m Cardiff)

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (LOAN Chelsea)

Tosin Adarabioyo (Bought £1.5m Man City)

Mario Lemina (LOAN Southampton)

Ademola Lookman (LOAN Leipzig)

Harrison Reed (Bought £6m Southampton)

Ola Aina (LOAN Torino)

Josh Maja (LOAN Bordeaux)

That’s right, seven players on loan, whilst the other four cost £18.5m between them (stats via Transfermarkt).

Is it fair / ethical, should it be allowed, to have so many loan players in your side, whether you are trying to stay up or indeed even win stuff?

Indeed, it was ironic that when looking at the subs (see below), all nine of those are permanent signings, costing almost £50m between them, with Anguissa actually having cost Fulham more than the entire starting eleven against Burnley!

You have to wonder what those fully signed up players are thinking when they don’t get a game, the first team packed with so many loan players.

Modern football…

Substitutes

Rodak (Through youth system)

Kongolo (Bought £4m Huddersfield)

Hector (Bought £5m Chelsea)

Ream (Bought £1.5m Bolton)

Odoi (Bought £1m Lokeren)

Robinson (Bought £2m Wigan)

Anguissa (Bought £22m Marseilles)

Onomah (Free Transfer Spurs)

Cavaleiro (Bought £11m Wolves)

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