By DAN KARELL
Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey is expected to join a European club on loan this winter, but it doesn’t seem like a return to Fulham is in the cards.
Fulham manager Martin Jol, who coached Dempsey in his best year at Fulham in 2011/2012, denied any speculation that the U.S. Men’s National Team forward could be back at Craven Cottage this winter during the Major League Soccer offseason. Fulham have struggled this season to score goals, with nine goals from nine games, including four last Monday against Crystal Palace.
“It’s unbelievable speculation, which is nice,” Jol told the Fulham Chronicle. “I never talk about players, especially when they are not here.”
It makes sense for Dempsey’s name to pop up among the rumors of players that Fulham is interested in because of the prior success he enjoyed at the club. Between 2006 and 2012, Dempsey scored 50 Premier League goals for the club including a 23-goal campaign in all competitions under Jol in 2011/2012.
Last week, USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann made it clear that MLS-based players in the national team pool should move to European clubs to continue playing during the long offseason, so as not to lose form and fitness. If they don’t go on loan, they’ll stay with the National Team and train with them in the winter.
Fulham currently sit in 14th place in the Premier League table, just two points above the relegation zone. They face Manchester United this Saturday.
On Sunday evening, Dempsey scored his first goal since making his return to MLS with the Sounders in early August. Since joining, the 30-year-old has struggled with hamstring and other muscle injuries that have had him in and out of the lineup.
What do you think of this report? Do you see Dempsey joining Fulham this offseason? Do you expect him to return to England? Do you see him staying in America to train with the National Team instead?
Share your thoughts below.