Impressive even in relegation
Despite Fulham’s campaign ultimately ending in relegation, some players have emerged with reputations intact, or even in some cases enhanced.
Defender Joachim Andersen is one of those. The centre-back, on loan from Olympique Lyon, has made 31 appearances for the Cottagers this season, and formed a solid partnership with Tosin Adarabioyo at the heart of the club’s defence, in a side that rank 12th for goals conceded in the Premier League.
I’ve been impressed with both Joachim Andersen and Tosin Adarabioyo this season.
If one of the bigger clubs don’t move for Lyon man Andersen this summer I will be surprised. Tosin probably better of where he is for a few more years. He has a big future.
— The Tactical Times (@Tactical_Times) May 18, 2021
And it appears that his performances have not gone unnoticed, with Tottenham Hotspur rumoured to be preparing a bid for the Dane, meaning Andersen could link up with compatriot Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in North London next season.
Joachim Andersen priority is to stay in Premier League after spending his season on loan to Fulham. 🇩🇰
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) May 20, 2021
Tottenham’s defensive woes
Tottenham are yet to stumble across a compatible defensive partnership this season, with one or both centre-backs often susceptible to a crucial mistake. The result has contributed to what has been a generally poor season, with Spurs in danger of falling out of Europe entirely if they do not win against Leicester City on Sunday.
— Premier League (@premierleague) May 19, 2021
Eric Dier has been converted from central midfield, and regularly switches off at crucial moments, lacking the natural awareness of a top centre-back. Meanwhile, Davinson Sanchez has endured a torrid season, finding himself in and out of the side, and failing to impress when given the chance.
With Toby Alderweireld not getting any younger, Spurs’ best defender has been summer signing Joe Rodon, brought in from Swansea for £11 million (according to transfermarkt). Calm and composed on the ball, at just 23 years old, he has plenty of time to grow into the defender that the Lilywhites so desperately need.
More on Joe Rodon: “He’s trained well, done well. All the 21 outfield players have competed in training and it’s made it difficult to pick a team and a squad. But I’ve been happy with everyone, I think the defence and team has done well.” #THFC
— Jonathan Veal (@jonathandveal83) May 14, 2021
Nevertheless, he will need a partner, and Joachim Andersen fits the bill. Capable on the ball, he would also come with Premier League experience, representing something of a known quantity. He too remains young, and at 24, could form a long-term partnership with Rodon to help propel Spurs back into Europe.