Apr 8, 2012, 10:09 AM EST
If there were any lingering doubts that well-heeled pursuers will wave stacks of cash at Fulham for American striker Clint Dempsey during the summer transfer period, Saturday’s latest display surely put them to rest.
Two more goals against Bolton (in Saturday’s 3-0 win) gives Dempsey 21 for the year, as he keeps ticking off the the accomplishments:
- Saturday’s pair gives Dempsey 15 in Premiership play this year, a new club record. His total betters Louis Saha’s 13, set eight years ago at Craven Cottage.
- He has 12 goals for Fulham since New Year’s. Plus, Dempsey threw in a game-winner in the U.S. national team’s 1-0 February win over Italy.
- A week ago, Dempsey’s 13th strike in English Premier League action broke his own record for EPL goals by an American, 12, set in the 2010-11 campaign.
Dempsey has 16 months left on his Fulham contract. So this summer is the time for the little club in West London to capitalize. Who will come calling?
It may not be Manchester United or Chelsea, although the biggest of the Premiership biggies cannot be ruled out.
Dempsey could end up traveling East, into the continent. Would a German club, for instance, a near-the-top side such as Schalke 04, see Dempsey as a way to make hay in next year’s Champions League?
Dempsey might not see much point in a joining a club in the “good but not great” universe, a side like Stuttgart or Bayer Leverkusen. They might get into Europa League play next year, but Dempsey’s checked the box on that one.
Back in England, clubs like Liverpool and Newcastle fall in the same category. Playing in Champions League seems to be Dempsey’s primary motivation for wanting to graduate out of Craven Cottage, a place dear to the man’s heart, but one he has outgrown.
What says “outgrown,” by the way, like setting records around the ground?
Dempsey’s goals, the breakdown:
League matches: 15 goals, 33 appearances
UEFA: 3 goals, 7 appearances
FA Cup: 3 goals, 2 appearances
Total: 21 goals, 42 appearances
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The visitors hit Southampton with quick breaks, coming away with a win and proving that possession is, in fact, just nine-tenths of the law.
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