Watch out for Fredi

Friday 2 November 2001

Steed Malbranque will warn his Fulham team-mates of the threat West Ham striker Frederic Kanoute pose for them at Upton Park tomorrow.

The Frenchmen played together for Lyon before moving to the Premiership and 21-year-old Malbranque said: "I have not told the others about him yet but I am sure I will have a chance to do that. Kanoute has the talent to score a lot of goals because he is big, fast and good in front of goal."

Malbranque and Kanoute last bumped into each other on a plane from France to London in the summer. The midfielder was jetting over for his medical before completing his £4.5million move to Fulham in August and his former team-mate was returning from a break at home for pre-season training.

Kanoute told Malbranque, who two years ago had not heard of the club he was about to join, that he was making a good move and so it has proved.

The France Under-21 international has quickly settled in the Premiership and scored four goals as well as turning in some impressive performances while competing with Lee Clark for Fulham's attacking midfield place.

The one-time Arsenal target added: "I have not played enough games yet to really know, but I think the football here is very different to France. It is different on both physical and tactical levels.

"I am just pleased to be playing for Fulham. I felt that coming here would give me a good chance to express myself and to be involved, to play lots of games. I do not know if that would have been the case at Arsenal."

Tigana must be happy that he is here, too. Malbranque scored both goals last week as his team recorded only their second Premiership win, beating Southampton 2-1.

His goals and the three points came as a welcome relief to a team who had only netted four times in their previous seven league matches.