Jol said: “It will be a holding player because last week I had this little problem with Chrissy [Baird] in case I needed him [to play centre-back].
“Philippe [Senderos] was still injured last week so if something had happened to [Brede] Hangeland – as he was on the ground with an injury – and I had to play Chrissy at the back then I would have had to fill in that position with someone else. We didn’t really have that player so we are looking for a real number four.
“It’s not a mystery player, the only thing is that we haven’t spoken to him yet. I don’t want to mention his name because maybe another club will jump on him so I don’t want to take that risk. It will be a number four who played abroad and he played for me actually at Hamburg.”
Manchester City arrive at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon looking for a reaction to what is, by their high standards, a slump in form.
A 4-2 defeat in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday by Aston Villa was their latest defeat, but Jol insists that we shouldn’t read too much into the midweek result after Roberto Mancini made wholesale changes to his side.
“The thing is, if you play a different side, like they did against Aston Villa, they didn’t play together before so they have to gel together in almost 90 minutes and that’s impossible,” he explained. “So even if you have all these world-class players together, it’s not easy to win all your games but that is probably the idea behind it; to get a squad with two or three players in each position of equal quality. That is what I want but we don’t play all these matches unfortunately.”
With Dimitar Berbatov ruled out of Saturday’s game through injury, Jol is backing Mladen Petric to step up in the Bulgarian’s absence.
“Of course you would like to play your strongest team,” he said. “I felt a bit for the boy Mladen Petric – he was a big hit in his first game, then Berbatov came and it looked as if Petric wasn’t there anymore but he can show against City what he did in the first game against Norwich City.”