Who would have thought that a transfer deadline day where we were restricted by an embargo would turn out to be one of the better days of dealings we have experienced as Fulham fans in recent years?
Now, there are many of you who will likely say that a couple of loan signings is nothing to get excited about and no doubt our expectations in general have steadily declined along with our stagnation in the Championship. It did however, at times, on Deadline Day feel like we may actually have a man in charge who has a bit of vision, a plan even, with a pinch of common sense thrown in for good measure.
More so than the couple of new faces, the fact that we have managed to retain both McCormack and Dembele must be seen as the best news of all. With the latter’s contract running out at the end of this season, we are gambling on potentially getting a new one on the table, but on the flip side there is a possibility that Jokanovic can use the upcoming months to justify that the club is in fact now moving in the right direction at last, and perhaps one more season will be beneficial to all parties involved.
Recalling Amorebieta certainly didn’t seem to sit well with a lot of the fans and some would say rightly so. The South American has turned in abject performances for the club both in the Premier League and the Championship, but with limited room for manoeuvre and the possibility that Slavisa may be able to get more out of him than our previous management regimes have done, the decision to recall him seems a rather sensible one in terms of utilising fully what options are available.
In Rohan Ince, Michael Madl and Zakaria Labyad, we have also secured three players who despite not exactly being signings to write home about, will suffice in hopefully building the new identity under Slavisa while offering some much needed comptetion for places. It is no secret that we are yet to find a decent centre-back pairing this season, so Madl will offer a new option while Rohan Ince could potentially be the combatitive centre midfielder we have been missing for so long. As for Labyad, it is unclear as to where he would currently fit in but pace and creativity will always be welcome in a squad that still has a real lack of wide players.
It must also be said that despite the level of critisism towards him over the past few months, Mike Rigg certainly stepped up in terms of retaining a number of prized assets alongside allowing our new manager to bring in a few of his own faces despite the difficult circumstances.
While our expectations for the remainder of the season will remain grounded, there is a chance now for Jokanovic to mould a squad for next year and, as much as anything, get the players on board with his way thinking. Of course there are likely to be a few more bumps in the road before we see improvement, what with fifth-placed Derby next to visit Craven Cottage, but let’s just remember that in the grand scale of things, the comings and goings could have left us in a much worse situation than we find ourselves in.