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Report: Clint Dempsey will join Fulham on Jan. 1 for two-month loan

Dec 15, 2013, 11:56 PM EDT

Fulham v Newcastle United - Premier League Getty Images

The Guardian is reporting that Clint Dempsey’s much-speculated return to Fulham is a done deal. A two-month loan from Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders will begin on Jan. 1 bring the 30-year-old back to the United States ahead of his MLS team’s March 8 season opener, sacrificing preseason with his new club for a chance to return to Craven Cottage.

Citing “US sources,” the London-based outlet reports Dempsey will stay in southwest London “until late February,” returning to the club where he scored 23 all-competition goals in 2011-12. That summer, Dempsey moved from Fulham to Tottenham Hotspur, leaving the Cottagers as the club’s all-time leading scorer in Premier League play.

Dempsey left Tottenham before the start of Spurs’ 2013-14 season to move back to Major League Soccer, where he played with the New England Revolution from 2004-2006. His three-and-a-half year deal with the Sounders includes a clause that allows him to go on loan this winter in preparation for the 2014 World Cup.

Though Spurs held an option on Dempsey’s return, the U.S. captain will instead rejoin Fulham, who we originally signed for in Dec. 2006. Over the course of five-and-a-half seasons, Dempsey scored 60 all-competition goals, including twice in Fulham’s 2009-10 run to the Europa League final.

By the end of his time at Craven Cottage, Dempsey had evolved into one of the team’s most important players, but with Rene Meulensteen having recently taken as manager over for Martin Jol, it’s unclear how the 101-time U.S. international will be used. Over the past two games, Fulham has played with two  attackers flanking Dimitar Berbatov (the club’s number nine), and while Dempsey could play in either of those spots, he also gives Meulensteen a player capable of playing in support of a lead striker. Likewise, if Berbatov (in the final year of his contract) is moved in the winter transfer window, Dempsey gives Meulenteen another option through the middle.

For Seattle, a team that’s making a number of changes this offseason, losing their playmaker through training camp will be a significant blow; however, it will not be an unanticipated one. As the Sounders appear set to build around Dempsey playing in support of the likes of Obafemi Martins, Kenny Cooper, and Lamar Neagle, they’ve been aware of the likelihood of Dempsey’s absence, one which should help him prepare for Brazil 2014.

  1. hildezero - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    Great for Deuce. I’m glad for him that he can return back to Fulham and finish off his career there PROPERLY. It’ll be interesting to see how he will be welcomed back at Craven Cottage.

    • bear06 - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:25 AM

      It’s just going to be a 2 month loan.

    • charliej11 - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      And by properly, you mean playing in meaningless games the rest of a 2 month career ?

      what an embarrassing post….

  2. - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:13 AM

    Deuce will go back to London. Wow.

  3. unclemosesgreen - Dec 16, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Fulham really needs him badly. Spurs could have used him to but AVB couldn’t find his arse with both hands. Wonder how long he has left in charge of Spurs. His tactics were a complete mess last year but Bale gave him cover.

  4. player169 - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    Unclemosesgreen, nice comment…1 hour before they fire AVB. Must be psychic!!

  5. dfstell - Dec 16, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Yeah….good move. I’m sure that Dempsey’s people talked to the new management and got some assurances of playing time. Plus, it isn’t like the guys they have were burning it up.

    Also, he needs to do something. The guy we saw at the end of the MLS season wasn’t anybody who should be starting in Brazil next summer. He needs to get it right and maybe this helps him to do that.

  6. mikeevergreen - Dec 16, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Maybe he can bring Bob Bradley with him.

  7. charliej11 - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    What a waste of time. Don’t do it Duece, you are better than that. Take the rest and crush it for club and country next year.

  8. joeyt360 - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    It is somewhat ironic that he’ll be coming back to precisely the type of situation that was one of the reasons he left. Which is Fulham under yet another new manager, who will probably tell him to stop trying to dribble guys and play one-touch.


    • mdac1012 - Dec 16, 2013 at 5:43 PM

      It’s actually a completely different situation for him. Before, he was looking at HIS future and if it was going to be in the EPL he wanted it to be with a team either in the CL or at least competing for a spot in the CL. This time his future has been decided, he is going to finish his career in MLS. This is just for him to play against high level competition, to begin getting into form for the MLS season and the WC after a disappointing end to last season.

  9. Dan Haug - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    If he goes to Fulham, he better be in better form than he was all season in Seattle. I hope he will be, but I woudn’t hold my breath.

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