Martin Jol confirms major changes will take place at Fulham over the summer
Giorgos Karagounis, Mahamadou Diarra, Chris Baird, Simon Davies, Mladen Petric and Mark Schwarzer are all out of contract in the summer
Tuesday 16 April 2013
Martin Jol is expecting another summer of change to Fulham's midfield, with a host of players' futures up in the air.
After losing the likes of Clint Dempsey, Mousa Dembele and Danny Murphy last year, there again looks set to be another high turnover of midfielders at Craven Cottage.
Giorgos Karagounis, Mahamadou Diarra, Chris Baird and Simon Davies have all yet to extend their contracts past the end of the season.
The on-loan quartet of Urby Emanuelson, Emmanuel Frimpong, Stanislav Manolev and Eyong Enoh also see their stays expire in the summer, although Fulham have an option to make the latter duo's moves permanent.
Jol has some tough decisions to make over the coming months in regards to those players and knows new midfielders need to arrive ahead of the new campaign.
"If you look at the defence, I think we are fine," the Dutchman said.
"If you look at the midfield, I think Steve Sidwell is probably the only one left if you think of all the players we had six or seven months ago. We have to do something.
"Up front, Mladen Petric we will talk to him as he is on a one-year deal [which expires]..
"Sascha Riether we have an option in his loan [to make it permanent] and we will probably take that.
"For the rest, I don't see any problem but in midfield we can do something because there is only one or two left.
"Karagounis is also on a one-year deal so Sidwell is probably the only one who is on a long-term contract."
As well as shoring up his midfield, Jol wants to bring in a new goalkeeper.
Regular number one Mark Schwarzer has yet to sign a new deal past the summer and understudy David Stockdale, currently on loan at Hull, is frustrated at a lack of opportunities in west London.
"Mark Schwarzer is for us almost a hero," said Jol, who also today played down of a move for Athletic Bilbao defender Fernando Amorebieta.
"He saves games for us so I would like him to stay but we are looking for a goalkeeper.
"Neil Etheridge is young and has no experience. He will go on loan, 100 per cent, to gain experience to be the number one in the future.
"We have Csaba Somogyi, who was man-of-the-match four times out of the last six games at Dartford, but we still look for a goalkeeper.
"We are looking for a good goalkeeper so if Mark decides to stay I have two good goalkeepers, plus Stockdale because he is still there. I have to talk to him."
While next season is not far from his mind, Jol's immediate attention is on tomorrow's derby clash with Chelsea.
The Cottagers have a miserable record against their west London neighbours, winning just one of 23 Premier League clashes, but could be playing them at a good time given the Blues' hectic fixture schedule.
"I am not sure," Jol said about the timing. "Sometimes you have the rhythm, which gives you the advantage.
"We played on Saturday, we will play again Wednesday and then against Arsenal.
"It is about legs so it depends on who is playing. If they play the same team, that probably could help us.
"If not, they are big enough as a squad to play four or five different players and I think they probably will."
Former Chelsea midfielders Damien Duff and Sidwell will be unavailable for Fulham tomorrow through injury and suspension, respectively.
Diarra and Ashkan Dejagah are also out, although on-loan Ajax midfielder Enoh should be okay after a slight ankle complaint.
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