The real action for the Cottagers will begin on July 30th when they begin their Europa League campaign against a yet to be determined opponent for a home and away tie. That means the Cottagers are going to have to be in fine form much earlier than in past seasons if the club wants to have any success on the European level.
It would be a shame if Fulham were knocked out of the Europa League before the Premier League season even begins. Thus, this preseason trip to Australia is very important for Roy Hodgson and his team to get on the same page and be ready to go come July 30 for a match most supporters are eagerly anticipating.
With that being said, it is important that if and when Fulham make a splash into the transfer market that it can be done in time for the new signings to participate in the Europa League come the end of July.
The latest rumours have Fulham showing interest in Peter Crouch, Marc Antoine Fortune, Jozy Altidore and others. There seems to be a clear indication from all the rumours throughout the summer that the Cottagers would like to add some depth to their strike-force.
Peter Crouch would be an excellent signing if it were to happen. He has shown from back in his days at Southampton that he can score goals and cause loads of problems for opposing defenders with his tall frame. It remains to be seen if Crouch will leave Portsmouth and what the asking price would be. I have heard the price would be somewhere in the £10-14m range. Is that a price you would be willing to pay for Crouch?
This leads to me to my question for all of you.......over the next three weeks leading up to the July 30 Europa League match, what would you like to see done in the transfer market and what players would you like to see Fulham get? Do you think Crouch is a good fit? What about Altidore?
I personally feel both players would do well for the Cottagers. I have already mentioned Crouch and how he has already proven he can score in this league. Altidore does not have the experience in a league like England, but his strong build and the skills he displayed in the Confederations Cup lead me to believe that he can and will succeed in England in due time.
Lastly, I think it is important to not forget about the midfield. Fulham were extremely lucky last season in not having to deal with all that many injuries. The chances of that happening again this season are not very good. Thus, the team needs some cover for Danny Murphy and others in the centre of the park. Simply adding to the strikeforce will not be enough.
Roy Hodgson has proven to work magic in the transfer market and I expect him to pull a rabbit or two out of his hat before the windown shuts in August. I would prefer he get his new signings in before the Europa League begins but in Roy I trust. He has shown me over the last year and a half, that he knows what he is doing and the decisions he has made have been fantastic. I expect more of the same this offseason.
I will keep everyone posted on things over the next few weeks leading up to the beginning of the Europa League.