Top 10: Loan Stars

Wednesday 7 August 2013 09:20

Fulham’s first loan player, Alan Mansley, arrived in 1970 as the modern arrangements came into force but played just a single game in December 1970 before returning to Brentford. Since then, the Club have seen a number of players impress while on a temporary contract and here are a selection.

Andy Thomas – 1982/83

Arriving from Oxford Town after two years at the club, the forward has one of the best strike rates for a loan player at Fulham as he made four appearances, scoring twice. Thomas netted the opener against Derby County in a 2-1 win in Division Two in December, before bagging the winner against Shrewsbury Town after coming on as a substitute in early January. On the bench for a further two games, he was not given another chance and went on loan to Derby County, before joining Newcastle United in 1986.

Philippe Albert – 1998/99

He may be best remembered for his wonderful chip over Manchester United’s Peter Schmeichel for Newcastle, but the Belgian defender was a key player in the second half of the season as we sealed promotion from Division Two in 1998/99. As his career up north began to come to an end, he slipped down the pecking order due to injuries, but was snapped up on a loan spell by former Toon boss Kevin Keegan. He played 13 games for the Club and scored two goals – they may not have been of the quality of his effort against Schmeichel, but ensured that we would rise back up the leagues before retiring the following season at Charleroi.

Luis Boa Morte – 2000/01

Another player to join on loan in our promotion winning season, Boa Morte made a huge impact as he scored 18 goals in 21 starts and also came off the bench 18 times. From the moment he arrived, the Portugal forward settled and he scored his first goal against Stockport County in a 4-1 win. By the time our 11-game winning streak had ended, he had bagged three more, including both in the 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers. His time at Southampton came to an end when we picked him up on a permanent deal in the summer of 2001 and he stayed in SW6 for another six years. Such a popular figure with the fans, Boa Morte has even been back recently to model our new away kit. #takemeback

Junichi Inamoto – 2002-04

Having been released by Arsenal before impressing with Japan at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the midfielder joined Fulham on loan from Gamba Osaka and helped us to silverware when he starred in the run to the Intertoto Cup trophy. Scoring once in the first leg of the Final, a hat-trick in the second, Inamoto almost single-handedly took us to the title and then stayed on for a further year to help us cement our place in the Premiership. Most notably, Inamoto scored in the 3-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford in 2003, but he wasn’t given an extended deal after fracturing his leg while on international duty. He went on to play more in England, Germany, France and Turkey and is now back in his homeland.

Martin Djetou – 2002-04

The Ivory Coast-born French international defender made his mark with AS Monaco before heading to the Italian Serie A to play for Parma in 2001. However, he failed to hold down a place in the first team and was sent out on loan; thankfully Fulham were on hand to offer him a contract for two years and he settled right in. Comfortable at centre-back or as a holding midfielder, Djetou helped to form several strong partnerships in defence but was not able to seal a permanent deal in 2004 and went back to France before a short stint with Bolton.

Moritz Volz – 2003/04

When Steve Finnan moved on to Liverpool in 2003, Fulham were on the lookout for a new right-back and found Arsenal’s German defender Moritz Volz willing to come on loan. Giving the young German an immediate place in the First Team, he did not disappoint and made 32 appearances in his single loan season as we finished a very respectable ninth. Volz’s passion and commitment to the community ensured he became a firm favourite with the fans and on 20th December 2006, he scored the 15,000th goal in Premier League history, against Chelsea. The nickname '15,000 Volz' was spawned but, after a spell with Ipswich Town, he moved back to Germany.

Vincenzo Montella – 2006/07

Having scored over 150 goals during his career in Italy’s Serie A, Montella arrived at Fulham in January 2007. The striker had played for the likes of Empoli, Genoa and Sampdoria before AS Roma came calling and signed him for 50 billion lira (around €25m in today’s currency) in 1999. He stayed in Rome for a decade and bagged 83 goals, while also made 20 appearances for the Italy national team. So when he joined Fulham, we knew we had got a top player and he proved himself with a brace against Leicester City on his debut in the FA Cup. Two more goals – in draws against Spurs and Blackburn – came before his stint ended, but he became a firm fans’ favourite during his time by the river.

Danny Murphy – 2007/08

On the final day of the summer 2007 transfer window, Lawrie Sanchez made one of the best moves for the long-term future of Fulham by bringing in Spurs midfielder Danny Murphy. Making his name at Crewe Alexandra, he spent seven years at Liverpool before heading to Charlton Athletic and then on to White Hart Lane, but fell out of favour and was picked up on a year-long loan before signing a permanent deal the following season. Indeed, Murphy played a crucial part in Fulham’s successful fight against relegation in his first season, scoring the winning goal against Portsmouth on the final day which ensured our top flight status, and went on to captain us in the subsequently successful years. Murphy left for Blackburn Rovers in 2012.

Paul Stalteri – 2007/08

After arriving in England from Werder Bremen and joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2005, we moved to snap up the Canadian defender on a six-month loan during the rocky season of 2007/08. Stalteri landed in SW6 on January 31st with the club in deep trouble, battling against relegation. In fact, we lost the first three games – Middlesbrough, West Ham and Manchester United – with him in the side, but turned things around as we lost only three of the last 10 and won five of them! At the end of the season his contract with Spurs was terminated and he went back to Germany to join Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Sascha Riether – 2012/13

After FC Cologne were relegated in 2011/12, Riether made the move to England and immediately made himself our first choice right-back. The 30-year-old defender had been a veteran of the German league until heading to the Premier League, having played for Freiburg, Wolfsburg and Cologne, but rocketed to prominence as one of the outstanding defenders of the campaign. Indeed, Riether won the Players’ Player of the Year award as voted for by his Fulham peers and the Club opted to take up our option to sign him permanently.

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