An ode to Anguissa. A Zambode, if you will. Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa is the most technically gifted player to grace the Cottage turf since Mousa Dembélé, and it doesn’t even feel like a stretch admitting that.
The Cameroon international was once again the best player on the pitch on Monday night against West Brom and should now, without question, be the first name on the team sheet.
Every week, we as Fulham fans are beginning to place the same expectation on Anguissa’s shoulders as we once did Mousa’s, in that every game we should see him make two or three bursts forward into the attacking third, preferably leaving a trail of highly-paid, desperate-looking players in his wake.
The comparisons to Dembélé humbly stem from the pair’s similar physical build and playing style, but unlike virtually every player that has turned out for the Whites since the Belgian, Anguissa has the ‘I can’t believe he plays for us’ factor.
Sure, having Mitrovic in the Championship felt somewhat like a promotion cheat code, but taking away his personal connection to the fans and the club (which some would argue is priceless), I think he’s replaceable in a way that Anguissa is not.
I know that last sentence might be a shock for some fans but, contrary to popular belief, good goalscorers can almost always be found at every level. But a player with the natural talent of Anguissa? Not so much.
As always with these things it’s important to deal with the facts, and although stats can be both flattering and deceiving, with Zambo it’s more the former than the latter.
Anguissa leads the way for Fulham in the Premier League this season in both tackles (15) and interceptions (12), while coming in a close second behind Tom Cairney for touches (537) and passes (396).
Speaking of the skipper, who astonishingly will go down as one of Fulham’s most successful ever captains despite a litany of inconsistent performances over the last two years, he has seriously upped his game this season and now looks to be recapturing some of the form that saw him knee slide across the country in the 2016/17 season.
And this thankful upward trend in form for Cairney looks to be thanks to the solidity of having Anguissa alongside him. In Zambo, our two-time Scotsman skipper finally has a midfield partner that can relieve the pressure on his shoulders, letting him flourish in a way that the reliable, yet ultimately immobile, Kevin McDonald or the maverick Stefan Johansen could never truly do.
That’s not to diminish either of McDonald’s or Johansen’s impact on Fulham in the Khan era, it’s more to underline that Anguissa’s ability and role within the team goes a lot further than what he can do with his feet.
Zambo now has a pivotal year in front of him, where a season of good performances and Premier League survival could see him swagger his way into Fulham folklore.
The suitors will begin to show their hands should this happen, but until then let’s enjoy watching Zambo wear the Fulham badge and drink as much of it in as possible.