Why Fulham offloading Stefan Johansen would be a fair settlement
As per the report, the Norwegian has attracted interest from West London rivals QPR in the Championship this month after not featuring at all for the Cottagers in the Premier League so far. Johansen was not included in Parker’s PL squad for the first half of the campaign and the midfielder is unlikely to break into the manager’s plans in the coming months.
Johansen’s decline at Fulham
Johansen joined Fulham from Celtic in the summer of 2016 and went on to make an instant impact in the EFL Championship, registering 11 goals and 8 assists in 38 appearances. He followed it up with 8 goals and 9 assists in 48 outings in 2017-18 as the Cottagers won promotion to the Premier League.
The Norwegian didn’t really manage to hit the same heights in the top-flight, however. Johansen started just 4 games during the first half of the 2018-19 campaign before heading out on loan to West Brom in the Championship in January 2019. On his return, though, he once again established himself as a key player following Fulham’s relegation to the second-tier.
The 30-year-old featured 33 times last season as Scott Parker’s side secured an immediate return to the Premier League via the playoffs. However, Johansen has only been limited to appearances in the EFL Cup so far this term, having been axed from the club’s PL squad.
Clearing the deadwood?
Johansen’s influence at Fulham has waned drastically over the past couple of years. The writing seemed to be the wall for him following his exclusion from the club’s PL squad, which is a clear indication that Parker doesn’t rate him as a player capable of making an impact in the top-flight.
Meanwhile, Fulham are currently pretty well-stocked in the middle of the park. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has arguably been the standout performer despite the club’s struggles at the wrong end of the table.
Even with influential skipper Tom Cairney on the sidelines, Parker still has Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mario Lemina, Bobby Reid, Josh Onomah and Harrison Reed to call upon.
Suffice to say, there seems to be no way back for Johansen between now and the end of the season. He could be back in the mix next term if Fulham get relegated to the Championship once again. Having said that, however, the Cottagers shouldn’t hesitate to move him on this month to make room for new arrivals with an eye on the future.
The Norwegian is already past 30 while he has also entered the final 18 months of his contract at Craven Cottage. With QPR showing an interest in offering him a route back to the second-tier, Fulham should be happy to take the money and cash in on their out-of-favour star.
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Fulham need to trim their squad in the January window to set the stage for some quality additions to their squad in the summer. Stefan Johansen clearly doesn’t have a future and parting ways with him would be in the best interests of all parties involved.