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Fulham Eyeing Dutch Destroyer? – Rating the Rumour

Fulham to Safeguard Their Midifield?

Welcome back to Rating the Rumour, which does exactly what it says on the tin. We’ll be taking the biggest transfer rumours related to Premier League teams and rating the likelihood of the moves coming to fruition.

The final rating will be decided based on the potential fit of the player into the rumoured buying club, the need for that club to sign a player for the position played, whether the player is of the level required by the club, whether the club could afford the rumoured price and whether or not the player is even likely to be available for transfer.

We will not factor in the reliability of the rumour, as it would likely cause mass amounts of crying from outlets, journalists and “journalists” who would have to be denounced as spoofers.

With the ground rules laid out, let’s look at Mats Wieffer to Fulham which has been reported by Football Insider.

Fit

We’ll start with an assumption. Mats Wieffer is Fulham’s successor to Joao Palhinha and would be expected to replace the Portuguese ball winner who looks likely to be the subject of bids from several clubs.

Wieffer would thus be tasked with replacing the outstanding former Sporting CP midfielder as the primary ball winner and the provider of steel in Fulham’s midfield. It’s a role he’s well suited for, and it could become an even better fit if he is one of two midfield additions with the West London club also being linked with Brazilian playmaker Andre. A Wieffer-Andre pairing should work well with their skillsets complimenting each, but even next to Alex Iwobi, Harrison Reed or Sasa Lukic, Wieffer should thrive.

Last season he played a vital role in Feyenoord’s title win, partnering Orkun Kokcu and acting primarily as a destroyer. This season he has played with Quinten Timber, a very different type of partner, and he’s shown himself to be equally adept when asked to initiate more of the play from deep.

Fit Rating – 2/2

Need

If Palhinha leaves, Fulham will have to replace him. It’s that simple. This deal wouldn’t make much sense if Palhinha isn’t on his way out the door, though Wieffer-Palhinha as a double pivot would certainly be imposing.

Let’s again work under the earlier assumption that Palhinha is leaving, so the need is clear and obvious.

Need Rating – 2/2

Level

Wieffer has only 18 months of Eredivisie experience, having played in the second tier of Dutch football until the summer of 2022 so his true level is yet to be established. He has thrived since making the step up, but the Eredivisie is not truly comparable with the Premier League.

He has, however, performed very well in European competitions both this season and last. This season, in the Champions League, he performed at a very high individual level in games against Atletico Madrid and Lazio showing a capability to play against the very best sides.

He still has plenty of room for development, and also plenty still to prove, but the early signs are promising.

Level Rating – 1/2

Affordability

Fulham didn’t spend a huge amount in the summer, in terms of net spend. The sale of Mitrovic covered much of their outlay on players like Jimenez, Bassey, Iwobi and Castagne. Reports suggest that Fulham have promised manager Marco Silva a sizeable transfer kitty for January after he turned down a big money off from Saudi Arabia and signed an extended contract with the club.

Selling Palhinha should swell the coffers at Craven Cottage even further, making a move for the £25mil rated Wieffer a very affordable deal.

Affordability Rating – 2/2

For Sale?

Feyenoord, like most clubs, understand their place in the footballing food chain and operate under the view that everyone is for sale as long as the asking price is met. If Fulham are prepared to pay what the Dutch giants want for their midfield powerhouse then they are very unlikely to stand in the way of his departure.

Availability Rating – 2/2

Final Rating

Overall, this rating grades at a 9/10. That, of course, doesn’t mean the transfer will happen or is even likely to happen, just that it is a transfer that would make sense for all parties.

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