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Record-setting season puts Dempsey in demand

Dempsey (Getty Images)

There isn't going to be a bigger story involving an American soccer player this summer than the one surrounding Clint Dempsey and his club future.

After tallying his 22nd goal in all competitions to rescue yet another point for Fulham against Chelsea on Monday, Dempsey's stock continues to grow in value as he heads toward the final year of his Fulham contract. His contract status means the Cottagers could be forced to sell him in order to avoid the risk of losing him to a free transfer in a year.

Fresh reports out of the UK suggest that Arsenal have kept a watchful eye on Dempsey and are set to make a £10 million move to try and acquire the in-form American from London rival Fulham.

Here is my Fox Soccer column on Dempsey and why his banner year will mean a likely exit from Craven Cottage.

Give the column a read and let us know where you think Dempsey will wind up. Like the idea of Arsenal buying Dempsey, or are you hoping he lands somewhere else in the Premier League? Would you like him to stay at Fulham?

Share your thoughts below.

89 comments
  • bryan

    agreed. when i saw the list of clubs interested in him, Schalke stood out. for one, they were one of three clubs (the others Arsenal and Valencia) who will likely be in the CL. second, Jones is there. third, raul and huntelaar would be a great pairing with deuce. not to mention farfan is likely to leave, so dempsey slides right in.

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  • Duneman

    Dempsey fan first, club fan second….just waiting to see which club I will be supporting next year😉

    I will root for the clubs with the US guys…if Dempsey goes to a new club you can count me in for a new jersey and +1 for TV ratings…..so his transfer fee will practically pay for itself😉

    That being said…its great for the USMNT if we can have a few teams with US players so they have some time playing with each other….so there are a few good options in Germany. BUT having a US player like him on one of the top 4 teams in the EPL…if he can keep doing well….that would be HUGE.

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  • Yusef

    As an Arsenal supporter and huge Dempsey fan, it would be great to see him get a run with the Gunners. Even though Clint consistently leads Fulham in goals scored, Jol was the first manager Dempsey played for at the club who immediately put Clint in the first XI. Wenger spending the cash to bring him in will give Dempsey the benefit of the doubt and he will have the opportunity to show his class in all four competitions Arsenal play in.

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  • bottlcaps

    It is always a trade off when you give up security for opportunity. Dempsey has indicated he wants to play Champions League football before he retires. That probably won”t happen at Fulham. Yes, he does face the chance he will ride the pine on a bigger team with more stars, but I believe he can step up his game another notch and not only thrive on a big team but become an important player for that team…aka .. a star. He is probably already a star, the British press just hasn’t given him the hype they do for other players. But when you are FORTH in scoring( and moving up!!) in one of the top leagues in the world, people tend to notice you.

    It’s not just Arsenal that has him in the sights, but also Totenham, AC Milan, at least one or two Bundesliga teams, an unnamed Spanish Giant and, if you would believe the British Press yesterday,, Manchester United, who have thrown their hat into the Dempsey ring.

    Yes, it’s going to be an interesting summer.

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  • Don Pelayo

    Clint Dempsey should stay at Fulham. While nobody at the club would hold it against him if he leaves, he should stay and become a true club legend. Who knows, there might be another statue of an American at the Cottage by the time he retires.

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  • Wpo3

    Coming from a U.S. and Arsenal fan, I can’t see Dempsey fitting in with the Gunners. He’s a scrapper, but technically not up to snuff to play with a top-four club, in my opinion. However, I understand his desire to play Champions League.

    Can’t fault the guy for wanting to reach the top level. And maybe he’ll prove me (and others) wrong with a transfer and follow up success. But from my standpoint, he ought to stick it out with Fulham and retire as a club legend. The Cottagers are always bouncing up and down the table, but they’re a solid Europa League team. No shame in that.

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  • Sam

    Oh man… Just hope he gets playing time wherever he goes, but the atmosphere and the chemistry between Fulham and Dempsey is incomparable.

    And also, that would be the first time Fulham will not have an american player on the squad since 2004. The end of an era, my friends.

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  • HansomeJake

    Every time Ives posts something about Clint everyone comments about their perception of his lack of ability to gain playing time. It’s ridiculous, Fulham is a top 10 EPL team…easy. That’s a fairly new position for them.
    How did such a team rise from the relegation zone to off and on Europa League status? Clint Dempsey. Fulham is on the cusp of becoming the new Arsenal. Look over the last 4 or 5 years and you’ll notice that the only consistent person behind the team is Clint, he has lead the team just about every year in scoring and has to start each season on the bench..until the last season or two. Every time a new manager comes to the Cottage he again has to prove why he is the heart of the team, and every year he is successful.
    it would be preposterous to think Clint doesn’t have the ability to shine on any team. He is American and almost every manager puts a tally in the negative column for him, but yet he still earns his spot back in the 11 because the negative column is quite bare in Clint’s case.
    You have to remember that Clint hasn’t been a professional for a long time, his age isn’t as much as a factor as it is in other professionals. He only has 8 or 9 professional seasons to his name. Compare him to others with the same experience and clearly you would add him to the top of the talent list.
    10 million pounds? That’s a disgrace to the game. Since when did 22+ goals cost 10 million GBP? If Fulham somehow let him go for 10 million GBP, who wouldn’t cough up the cash?
    I expect him to leave for somewhere in the 16 million GBP range or stay and continue to help Fulham rise in the ranks, perhaps to a top 5 team.

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  • Joamiq

    If Spurs make CL, they’re not shelling out that kind of money for a midfielder who wouldn’t start. They’ll be looking for clear upgrades at the other positions, not in midfield where they’re set.

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  • SweetBalls

    The Deuce is headed to Arsenal and going to fit in nicely behind VanPersie and clean up anything Van can’t find a way to poke in the net. They’ll dump Chamakaka and Gervin-no-goal for a pound a piece. Surely Deuce can do better then those two clowns(They’re actually great players, they have just blown their chances). Cheers Demps, put a couple more in the back of the net this season and get ready to find a new North London flat.

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  • thaDeuce

    wenger and Klinsman are good friends. A good word from Klinsi might go a long way.

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  • K Bone

    I’m sorry, but when Torres when playing at his best, he was one of the best strikers in the world. Dempsey will never be one of the best players in the world, no slight to him at all. Dempsey is also older than Torres, so Torres was light years better than Dempsey when they were the same age. There’s nothing wrong with being worse than Torres when he was a goal machine. And also, much of his issues with Liverpool were due to injury…

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  • K Bone

    There are so many things wrong with that post. Fulham is the new Arsenal? Fulham a top 5 team with Dempsey? He’s 29, and has like three years more at the top. I’m not saying he won’t do great a big club, but come on. Top 5? Good lord, are you the same person that said Everton could win the league if Donovan stayed full time?

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  • The Imperative Voice

    People forget that after ACM got Gooch in they sat him behind Nesta, giving him 1 sub appearance in their first 10 competitive games. He wasn’t hurt then! He then got hurt in October playing for the US, which I’ve often argued was part wet field part disuse. ACM was the “disuser.”

    I think they’re part to blame for his knee — rather than the other way around — so I think it’s illustrative of the risks of getting in over your head.

    Similar things have happened to quality players like Beasley, and he in particular has never been the same phenomenon since that Man City/Rangers/etc. running aground. It’s not just a problem for players like EJ or Adu who don’t even get a European toehold, it’s a problem for elite players who suddenly lose PT and perhaps risk injury.

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  • The Imperative Voice

    I think it’s a good fan and club atmosphere for him, and I think with the young talent Jol’s bringing in this could be back to the Hodgson years soon, borderline Europa like you’re saying. Like what I see from Progrebnyak.

    Murphy has looked awful to me this year, ditto Senderos. Fulham needs to manage the ageing aspect of the team to remain competitive. I think they need some freshening, that the start of the year reflected an old core going over the hill. That does not speak for Dempsey but in order for FFC to stay even where they are they need more Progrebnyaks, in particular defensively. That bunch with Murphy that had the glory years is showing its age.

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  • Bumby Hemmingway

    I agree. He is 29 years old and has guarenteed himself a starting role for the next few years at Craven Cottage with an upper half EPL team. He can make good money with a good club and retire a legend.

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  • Helium-3

    I agree Fulham is not the new Arsenal.

    Outside of these guys:

    Dempsey (out of contract 2013)
    Dembele (out of contract 2013)
    Ruiz
    Hangeland (out of contract 2013)
    Diarra

    The rest are just overachieving
    journeymen players. Schwarzer is 39,
    Frei looks promising and still only 18.

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  • Raymon

    Can you elaborate:
    “He’s a scrapper, but technically not up to snuff to play with a top-four club, in my opinion.”
    What do you think he is missing technically? Finishing? Winning the ball in the 50-50 situation? The air game? Dribbling and getting past defenders? Throw ins?
    Scratching my head about this one.

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  • Jason

    Thats 10 million POUNDS which comes to about $15.9 mil right now. Used to be 2:1 not too long ago so its hard to gauge comparisons between now and a few years ago when the rate was more pro british. It’s historically around 1.5:1 pounds:US dollars. I don’t think any team outside of City or Chelsea in England are just spending freely anymore. I think when it’s all said and done don’t be surprised to see a 15mil pound ($23.86 mil) fee IMO

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  • Jim

    I would love to see him move to an Italian side. Ride the improved pub from Bradley & leverage it based on this seasons results.

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  • JGD

    @The Imperative Voice

    FWIW, Ba has hardly been replaced at NUFC. The 4-3-3 being employed with Ba-Cisse-HBA has been the best attacking I’ve seen from Newcastle all year. Ba is still playing at a very high level, he’s just not the one slotting home these days.

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  • JGD

    They’re the hottest team in the Premier League right now, 5 points and 6 goals ahead of Spurs, 5 points and 17 goals ahead of Newcastle. They’ll be playing CL football next year.

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  • JP

    I think Dempsey is better than his 22 goals. In the EPL average teams do not always look to win and often Dempsey has had to be a part of a unmotivated attack. If he was with one of the bigger clubs (Chelsea, Arsenal, Man U, or Man City …) and was part of a club that takes the field to win every game and attacks all 90 minutes, who knows how many more goals he could score.

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  • Poo

    Not technically up to snuff? That’s nuts, his touch and technical skills are fantastic.

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  • Bryson

    At some point you have to take that next step, even if it means risking playing time. Sure he could stick around with Fulham and always play, but as a competitor you always look for the next challenge.

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  • oscar

    If Dempsey has the chance, he should try to reach the next level with a club qualified for the CL group stage. Who knows ? he could thrive and become an even bigger star. And if he does fizzle, I could see him returning to Fulham in a couple of years time.

    Maybe at age 38 or so, return to the USA and dominate MLS.🙂

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  • abc

    As a Fulham and Dempsey fan, sadly I must support this version of events. And it’s absolutely maddening every time. I can’t think of any reason other than that he’s American, because he certainly deserves his starting spot. Yet he has to re-prove himself to every new Fulham manager in a way that other players do not. In that sense I have to give credit to Owen Coyle at Bolton, he worked in Holden, but now that he knows Americans can in fact play, he has thrown Ream right into the fire. Things are even worse elsewhere than they are at Fulham. Harry Redknapp simply does NOT trust American field players at all (although of course Tottenham have to be ecstatic with how Brad Friedel has performed for htem), probably because the Americans he saw back in his days with the NASL Seattle Sounders were terrible… it’s not like US players could have improved in the last 30 years right? And what about Aston Villa, it seems like Americans usually get the short end of the stick there as well.

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  • abc

    You do remember correctly. He’s a CB, that’s where he’s playing almost all of the time, and that’s where he should continue to play.

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  • abc

    Aside from Fulham, I think the following are the best possible fits for Dempsey:
    England: Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle, Manchester United (not Tottenham and certainly not Arsenal)
    Germany: Schalke
    Spain: Valencia
    Italy: Roma

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  • Tom

    At first I thought Arsenal would be a bad choice for Dempsey, because of RVP. But, when you think about it, Dempsey is better suited playing behind the striker, so I don’t think he would necessarily have to fight RVP for playing time. More likely he’d have to fight for a midfield spot, but who would go? Arteta? Rosicky? Walcott? Wilshire has hardly played because of injury, but Wenger wouldn’t sell him. Obviously MU, Spurs, Man City, would be bad choices. Though you could argue that City could be without both Balotelli and Tevez after this year. And Spurs could use a striker if they can’t sign Adebayor. Maybe Liverpool would sell Carroll and buy Dempsey?

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  • AJ

    I like how this entire conversation is based on unfounded rumors. Anyone notice Wenger was not even quoted in the article Ives linked to? It’s all speculation at this point people. Not one source has been cited.

    Like

  • rick rock

    gooch was never good enough. too big, too immobile, poor with his feet. was never gonna work unless he sat and learned. plus he got hurt. he was out of his depth from the beginning.

    Like

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