Why Fulham need not push too hard for Ben Gibson
EFL Championship rivals Huddersfield Town and Middlesbrough have also had loan offers rejected by the Clarets for the 27-year-old central defender, who has been gathering dust at Turf Moor since the start of the previous campaign. (h/t Keith Downie of Sky Sports)
The Nunthorpe-born defender clocked up over 200 appearances for his boyhood club Middlesbrough, establishing himself as one of the best in his position in the Championship. However, he has failed to break into Sean Dyche’s first-team plans at Turf Moor.
The report also adds that Burnley are willing to sanction a departure for the out-of-favour defender before the January deadline – only if they manage to rope in a suitable replacement.
Meanwhile, Fulham have been among busiest clubs in the Championship during the mid-season trading period, having already completed a permanent deal for Wolves loanee Ivan Cavaleiro.
Michael Hector and Terence Kongolo (loan) have been roped in from Chelsea and Huddersfield to provide additional cover at the back while goalkeeper Jordan Archer has also joined the boat as a free-agent.
Scott Parker’s side missed a golden opportunity to close the gap on pace-setters West Brom at the top of the table after they were held to a goalless draw by Charlton Athletic at The Valley on Wednesday night.
Bringing in a new central defender won’t make a lot of sense, given that the Cottagers already have Hector and Kongolo.
Furthermore, they have likes of Alfie Mawson, Tim Ream and Maxime Le Marchand to compete for the defensive roles in Parker’s playing XI every week.
Add to that Denis Odoi, who has been largely used as a full-back but remains a versatile defender capable of slotting into a central role, and it is quite clear that the Cottagers don’t need a new centre-back.
All in all, Fulham would be wise to drop their interest in Ben Gibson after having a loan approach turned down by Burnley.