January Transfer Window

Posted on February 3, 2010

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The January transfer window has closed for Fulham.  Here’s a quick roundup of who’s saying goodbye and who’s saying hello.

Goodbye, Diomansy Kamara, off to Celtic for what looks like a permanent move.  Kamara will likely be able to find more games at Celtic than he would at Fulham, where it seemed that Roy had firmly pegged him as a no.3 striker and a “What the hey, let’s throw Kamara out there and see what happens” kind of role.  He scored some great goals in the Fulham white and was an especially large part of our early Europa League campaign before the knee injury sidelined him once again.  Hopefully at Celtic he can sharpen his mercurial talents into a fine point- his unpredictability is a strength and sometimes fun to watch- he’s still more likely to score from trapped inside a telephone booth than in a one v. one with the keeper- but it was probably just a little too frustrating for Roy, in the end.

Also goodbye Chris Smalling.  His finale against Aston Villa was forgettable, but ultimately we’ll remember him as the promising kid, and watch as he grows into a fine defender from afar.  I’d still rather we sold Hangeland and let Smalling take his lumps this year and grow into an even more coveted prospect (and possible bedrock of future defenses) but that ship has sailed.

Finally, goodbye Toni Kallio.  this is also probably the end of the line for Toni as well, as he’s in the dreaded Eddie Johnson/Fredrik Stoor/Andranik Zone, with the loan deal that will never end.

Hello to Stefano Okaka and Nicky Shorey.  I’m sort of excited about Okaka, although I see him as a Kamara-in-training on some level.  He’s fast, young, hungry and about to be coached up in a big way, but I still foresee some growing pains and some grumbling when all’s said and done.  Nicky Shorey, on the other hand, I’m very excited about.  As much as Paul Konchesky has done for Fulham and as well as he’s played in the last 18 mos., I think this might spell the end of his consistent first team minutes.  Everyone who’s seen Shorey play raves about him and his soccer IQ- the only thing keeping him from the Villa first XI was the talented Stephen Warnock in his way.  My prediction is that Shorey comes in, plays handily and impresses, and then forces Roy’s hand to play him consistently as the season progresses.  Great pickups, both.

And hello to Christopher Buchtmann–  I know nothing about him, I don’t know how we picked him up, but Smalling seemed to be the prospect du jour when we sold him, and we needed an adequate replacement for “Young kid that the fan base drools over”.  As a Cubs fan, I see this happen all the time- we did it to Mark Prior, heaven help us, and we nearly ruined poor Corey Patterson- so I understand the rationale.  So as glad as I am to see Christopher, I’m not going to go nuts over it.  Work hard, kid, I hope to see you in a couple years.

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