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Johan Djourou

Why Fulham should sign Johan Djourou, who is a free agent

Fulham should consider signing free agent Johan Djourou to solve their defensive crisis. They are desperately fighting for survival this season after a poor first six months back in the top-flight. Claudio Ranieri’s team sit 19th in the table, seven points off of 17th placed Burnley.

The Cottagers have the worst defence in the Premier League so far this season, conceding 55 goals, at least nine more than next worst.  The West London side needs to tighten up at the back if they want to keep any hopes of playing top-flight football next season.

Fulham under Ranieri have moved into a back three system with Maxime Le Marchand, Denis Odoi and Tim Ream being the three centre-backs. Arsenal loanee Callum Chambers has been moved into central midfield. The Belgian Odoi is a right-back by trade and is being played slightly out of position by the manager. Nevertheless, he has done a decent job.

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Alfie Mawson has been injured since the festive period and isn’t close to returning and January recruit Havard Nordveit should be preferred in midfield. Hence, Fulham need an experienced centre-back to help shut up shop at the back. And former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou should be considered by the club.

Johan Djourou is currently a free agent after having his contract with Serie A side S.P.A.L terminated by mutual consent. The Swiss international made 144 senior appearances for Arsenal before moving to Hannover on a season-long loan. The 32-year-old is calm and authoritative on the ball. He is a tall imposing figure who possesses pace, power and wholehearted commitment in addition to his versatility.

He spent the following season at Hamburg on loan at the end of which, he signed for the Bundesliga side on a permanent deal. After four seasons, Djourou moved to Turkey and signed a deal with Antalyaspor. He signed for S.P.A.L a year later before leaving in January in 2019. He also has 75 senior international caps for Switzerland.

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Currently a free agent, Djourou would bring in huge amounts of experience and leadership to the Fulham defence. In his short stint in Turkey, he made 17 starts for the club averaging 1.9 interceptions and a brilliant 4.3 clearances.

The Swiss international has always boasted brilliant numbers when it comes to clearances with an impressive career average of 5.4 per game over a span of 193 games. (WhoScored)

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Ranieri has to find a way to get past the line this season and the signing of an experienced defender will only bring positives to the club. With 13 games left in the season, each game needs to be treated as a cup final and the addition of Johan Djourou could prove to be a massive factor in those results.

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