It’s been abundantly clear that Fulham have been crying out for another striker to bolster our attacking options – but more importantly, bolster our chances of getting into the glorious heights of the automatic promotion positions.
As things stand, we’ve been hit by a bout of injuries that have highlighted our lack of goal-scoring prowess. Mitrovic, Kamara, Knockaert and Kebano are all out with knocks at the moment, and while we’re relying on the versatility of Cavaleiro and Bobby Reid, they’re not out and out strikers with true goal scoring clout.
With the January transfer window upon us, it’s now time for Mr Khan to put his hand in his pocket and nab a new striker to ease the pressure. The chances are there, it’s clear for everyone to see, but without a target man or natural finisher, we’re not killing off games as we should do. The last January transfer window spent in the championship saw three signings that lead us onto that 23-game unbeaten run, and that monumental day out at Wembley.
There are strikers out there with the experience, with the ability and the know-how when it comes to finding the back of the net.
Rumours have been flying around of Bristol City making an approach for Wells from Burnley, with a recall option in his loan deal apparently coming into action during this transfer window. He’s been a shrewd signing for the Ha Ha’s since joining them on loan back in the summer and has proven to be a good bit of business. If Burnley are willing to listen to offers for him, and with his current run of fine form this season, Wells would be an astounding bit of work. Not only would we get a proven goalscorer in this league, we would also be getting a player who would be a complete menace – and he’d slot right into our set up. Of course, Mitrovic is always a starter when fit, but a rethink of the formation could see these two working in tandem to create a partnership that would set the remaining half of the season ablaze.
And for the sake of banter; it would be an absolute steal from those minnows down the road in their tinpot stadium.
A player who knows the football league like Lionel Messi knows the back of the net, Leon Clarke has the experience to deal with the pressure of Championship football in a team aiming to get back to the top flight. A bit of an outside solution, the 34-year-old could be the sort of target man we would need while Mitrovic and Kamara work on coming back to full fitness. Currently at high flying Sheffield United and finding regular football hard to come by in the Premier League, Clarke is probably itching to get out on the pitch and do what he does best: cause a nuisance, rough up defenders and score important goals. He might not have youth on his side, but he proved to be a very useful tool at both Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic last season. His natural ability to hold up the ball would work with our system, and while he would be called upon to score goals, he would be an asset in providing them, too.
An absolute menace in the championship, Vydra has always found the step up to the premier league a little bit of a struggle, but as soon as he drops down into familiar territory he becomes a whole different player. The championship version of Vydra is brimming with confidence, exuding an air of controlled arrogance that comes with being comfortable in your environment and most importantly playing to the best of his abilities. Wherever he has gone in this league he has found goals, whether that’s from his own boots or from assisting others, Vydra is the sort of player that could slot into the squad straight away and hit the ground running. Burnley are currently listening to offers for him, and with some big games coming up, we need the sort of player he is used to showing up to these tough games and able to change the match.
It was reported the other month that Bony was training with Newport City FC, keeping his fitness up in the hopes for a permanent move to a club a bit higher up the leagues. This would cost us absolutely nothing, and at the age of 31, the former Swansea striker will still want to prove a point. Bringing him in for 6 months wouldn’t be a bad bit of business either, especially if he rediscovers his knack for finding the back of the net. His last season at Swansea wasn’t the most invigorating or world-beating, but it did give him a small insight into the workings of the championship and what can be expected. Once destined for big things after his big-money move to Man City, the striker clearly still has some class about him, and we could do with the presence and his lived experience he could bring to the squad.
Recently back from injury after a lengthy time out, Uncle Roy would like him to go out and get some game time to build his fitness back up. A big, strong lad with an excellent work ethic, Wickham is a player that could definitely play that Mitrovic role and the Championship is where he started his trade. With Tony making Bobby Reid permanent this gives us another loan space to bring in the Englishman for 6 months – and he might just do the job.
At 6ft 3, he would be an ideal target for our direct form of football, able to hold it up, header and play a similar role to Mitrovic, Wickham might just be the handful we would need up front to bulldoze in some more goals.