Fulham have had a pretty erratic season so far in their domestic league. In the 25 games that they have played this Championship season, they have managed to win 9, lost 6 and have drawn 10 times. Their inconsistency has been a major source of concern for manager Slavisa Jokanovic.
Although the season is half over, Fulham could still challenge for the playoff position if they manage to go on an unbeaten streak that the likes of Derby County and Newcastle United have produced lately. Although Fulham is one of the few teams to enjoy the luxury of an almost fully-fit full squad, their discrepancy has led them to experience frustrating results at times.
The two-man pivot position deployed by Jokanovic has been a source of worry. While Fulham have as many as seven central midfielders in their squad, which includes their skipper Tom Cairney, the team seems to be missing a vibrant figure in the middle of the park, who could break opponents’ attack in the midfield and push the ball up for the counter.
And Jokanovic might have just such a candidate in Standard Liege defensive midfielder Ibrahima Cisse. As per reports, the Cottagers are in talks with the player and could make a potential bid to land him at Craven cottage this January.
Cisse joined Liege for a fee of around £750,000 in July from KV Mechelen and has quickly impressed everyone. Since then, he has made 15 first team appearances, and also scoring a single goal from the deep midfield. Ibrahima Cissé has completed 130 passes this season with a pass accuracy of 87%, of which 63% were forward passes.
At 182cm, Cisse looks like a strong presence in the midfield and the player of Ghanaian descent could just be the vibrancy Fulham need at their midfield. The 22-year-old is highly rated on the continent and it would be a real coup for Fulham if they manage to land him. His brute strength blended with good passing could just be the combination Jokanovic is momentarily missing in his midfield.
Standard Liege have their own financial concerns and will be more than are open to selling some of their leading young talents in order to get cash flow inwards. A top-quality player like Cisse could pose some serious threat to Kevin McDonald and veteran Scott Parker at the middle for a first tea position.
Standard Liege has apparently labelled the player at around £2m. And if Fulham are willing to make a significant mark as the second half of the Championship starts, signing the Belgian would be the first step.
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