They say never go back, but American Clint Dempsey has just done that. The move comes at a time when both Dempsey and Fulham could use a much needed reunion. The Cottagers are currently languishing in 19th place in the Premier League, and although it is far too early to write Fulham off, recent results have not been too uplifting. With René Meulensteen taking over from the sacked Martin Jol, the hopes were the club would be invigorated and begin to claw back some of the ground lost, but no such resurgence has been forthcoming yet. Fulham have greatly underachieved so far this season winning on only four occasions and the return of Dempsey could be the catalyst for a change in fortunes at the Cottage.
Dempsey spent five successful seasons at Craven Cottage from 2007 to 2012, scoring 50 goals in 184 appearances and helped guide the club out of the relegation zone in 2008 and also to the Europa League final where they lost to Atletico Madrid in 2010. Dempsey became the first American to score 50 goals in the Premier League in his time at Fulham. Dempsey joined Tottenham for £6million on virtually the last day of the summer transfer window in 2012 after scoring 17 goals in his last season with the Whites. After 43 appearances and 12 goals for Spurs, the American decided to move home to the United States and secured a transfer to Seattle Sounders of the MLS. With the World Cup coming this summer, the Texan is looking for regular playing time in order to keep match fit during the two month MLS off season.
They do say never go back but this deal has very little down side. Although some fans want to see a splash of cash in the January transfer window, the move for Dempsey is only a two month deal and you would be hard pressed to find a Fulham fan who would not want Dempsey and everything he has to offer coming in from the left or playing as a striker. The Cottagers have scored only 15 times in 16 games, and with players like Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Bent, Adel Taarabt and Bryan Ruiz, fans are looking for more production. Enter Dempsey who is a constant goal scoring threat from all over the pitch, and is also a fan favorite whose leadership could be what Fulham need to start playing like they want to remain in the top flight.
Dempsey also offers the Cottagers Premier League experience and creativity, which will be a huge boost to Meulensteen’s side and Fulham’s current position in the table. It also offers the player a chance to keep match fit for the World Cup where the United States will face a very stiff test against the likes of Germany, Portugal and Ghana. They will need one of their top players to be match fit for the difficult task ahead of them.
From the outside this looks like a match made in heaven but only time will tell whether this move will make all the difference for both parties involved. Fulham fans are certainly hoping it will be.