Why Fulham should sign Youssouf Sabaly this month
According to a report in French Outlet L’Equipe, Premier League strugglers Fulham have launched a bid to sign Bordeaux fullback Youssouf Sabaly. It is suggested that the opening bid was rejected by the French side, but the talks are going on for a possible deal. The Senegalese international nearly joined Italian giants Napoli during the summer transfer window.
The 25-year-old joined the Les Girondins on a permanent deal in July 2017 for a fee around £3.6m. It is pretty evident that the Cottagers are eager to get the player over the line at Craven Cottage. Here’s why they are doing the right thing:
Sabaly – a presence of rejuvenation
Fulham have been struggling to keep the ball out of the back of their net. They have already conceded 47 goals in 21 league games, most in the league this season thus far. The right functionality and winning mentality of a football team comes from being secure at the back, which in turns gives confidence to the front men to do that.
As a result of that, the Cottagers have been leaky at the back and they have only scored 19 goals, which is way below the required number, especially given the talent they have at their disposal.
Hence, with Claudio Ranieri now in charge after the sack of Slavisa Jokanovic, the focus should be on how to improve defensively and make that as a basis for the survival bid in the coming four months.
Getting Youssouf Sabaly could right a few wrongs in the team at the back. The Senegalese, predominantly a right-back, can also ply his trade at left-back if required. He is a buccaneering fullback who will make runs up the pitch but recover them in the nick of time to restore defensive stability.
Talking about this season, the 25-year-old has completed tackles at a rate of 2.5 per game and interceptions at 1.3. It shows his willingness to defend well in one-vs-one situations and also read the game astutely to intercept whenever required. (Whoscored.com)
Going forward, he is a real threat to the opposition fullbacks, as the Senegalese has a good cross in his locker. Strikers like Aleksandar Mitrovic would love feeding off those balls into the box.
All in all, Sabaly is a proper all-around fullback who can help revitalise this Fulham defence in the wide areas. The prowess going forward would be a bonus for Ranieri and his men.