MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 04: Mousa Dembele of Fulham competes with Samir Nasri of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Fulham at the Etihad Stadium on February 4, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
With the transfer window deadline looming this Friday, clubs are finally doing their last-minute shopping. Just now we're learning that:
Saints Make Mayuka Move
Saints have agreed terms over the transfer of forward Emmanuel Mayuka from Swiss Super League side BSC Young Boys. The 21-year-old will move to St Mary's for an undisclosed fee having agreed a five-year deal to keep him at the Club until the summer of 2017.
The most interesting news, of course, is Dembele to Spurs. This has been rumoured for a while now, and with Luka Modric finalizing his move to Real Madrid and Spurs having that hole in the midfield plus money to spend... well, it becomes inevitable. What will be interesting to see is how Dembele plays. At first blush you would think that he would compete with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Rafael van der Vaart for an attacking midfield role. But Dembele has shown more of a willingness to run with the ball out of midfield and then pass it along to others. While this is a different tactic from Modric's elegant passing game, it does work. As we saw for Fulham against Manchester United at the weekend. I'm not sure he can control a match this way, but he can certainly make things happen on the pitch.
[UPDATE, because I realize there are two sides to this story.]: I know Fulham fans are bummed about losing Dembele. Personally, I thought he'd be there through January, but things move quickly now. I think Fulham have options, but I'm not sure that they can fully replace Dembele in the short term. KRich can come in and be a squad player. As for their next starting line-up... I can envision Steve Sidwell coming in to partner Mahamadou Diarra in central midfield. That would allow Alexander Kačaniklić to push up and support the attack more. If that were the case, Kacaniklic's fantasy value would skyrocket. He's cheap as chips, and if indeed handed an attacking brief, he would make a great enabler.
Alternatively, Jol could pitch Hugo Rodallega into that role, but I worry that he and Bryan Ruiz (who has looked great this season) would step on each other's toes. Were this the case, I don't see any fantasy implications, other than it downgrading Ruiz a touch. HRod is probably properly valued at the moment, and in a crowded forward field this season, he isn't likely to shine.