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Making sense of the Michael Bradley, Fulham transfer possibilities

Dec 28, 2013, 5:13 PM EDT

Michael Bradley AP

Hard to say if this Michael Bradley-to-Fulham talk is just classic silly season stuff, but there does seem to be enough traction behind the reports – first out of Sky Italia – to talk about the possibility, at least.

So, what to make of a possible second, important U.S. international landing at Craven Cottage? In this case, Bradley’s move would be an outright transfer rather than a two-month loan, a la Clint Dempsey.

It really would be a big move for the U.S. international, who has done so well for Roma this year when he actually gets on the field. And there’s the rub.

Bradley has five starts this year and six appearances off the bench (during 17 Serie A matches for the club). So it’s not like he’s wasting away, especially not when considering that his fall minutes were somewhat limited by injury. Still, he’s not a key man for Rudi Garcia, not when Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Miralem Pjanic have settled so neatly into their roles in the manager’s preferred 4-3-3. So barring an injury it’s hard to see Bradley breaking in as a preferred man.

Bradley would certainly be an asset in West London, where the Cottagers are about to walk into the new year in a fierce relegation fight. (The standings are here.)

Fulham never really replaced Danny Murphy as an essential two-way man. Someone like Bradley could allow Scott Parker to sit a little deeper and concentrate on destroying; Bradley has the legs to get back into supporting, defensive positions while providing adequate creativity (not to mention passing above and beyond anything at Craven Cottage at the moment.)

If Rene Meulensteen wants to play three in the middle, then Bradley is a picture perfect fit as the linking man, the position at which he excels for Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team.

So he would probably play more, which would sharpen his skills for the upcoming World Cup ahead. But would a short-term win turn into a long-term loss? Because Fulham lives perennially on the relegation edge, and it could certainly happen this year. And where would that leave Bradley this summer? Perhaps contemplating a distracting summer transfer during the critical time in Brazil?

It’s not a bad move for Bradley, if it happens. Then again, staying in place doesn’t look so terrible either.

  1. charliej11 - Dec 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    It’s not a bad move ? In what universe is going to a team that does NOT win, not a bad thing ?

    Going toa team to piss away a career losing is always a bad thing, it is just how much money will offset the very bad thing.

  2. ndnut - Dec 28, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Charlie, Fulham wasn’t so terrible until this season, and I think they’ll fight their way up with a new year and new coach. Plus, him playing with Deuce will help the USMNT, and those two could spark Fulhamerica to win a few more games.

  3. dfstell - Dec 28, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    He’d be a good fit on that team. The problem with Fulham is that they’ve got a lot of guys like Berbatov, Bent and Taarabt so the midfielders have to work their nuts off. Parker is probably too old to do the amount of running that would be required of him. Bradley could do it.

    It’s probably a good switch for him. He’s really not playing much at Roma and isn’t likely to play more unless someone gets hurt. A lot of those substitute appearances are for 3-4 minutes at the end of a match.

    Or maybe Roma sells Strootman?

    • motogp69 - Dec 30, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      To be fair if anyone is on their way out at Roma it would be De Rossi.

      Obviously the author of the article doesn’t watch Roma play, because he know that De Rossi has far from settled in with Strootman and Pjanic. Given DDR’s inconsistent performances and how much he is over valued I would hope Roma would be smart enough to move him on in January while he still has value and slot Bradley into his position to fill the void.

      If Bradley is going to move on, I’ve heard of interest from Southampton as well which would be ideal to me as it’s a sexy project and he’s light years above Wanyama. Or if Liverpool were bright they’d bring him in to replace Lucas who unfortunately is past it due to all of the injuries he has sustained.

  4. bellerophon30 - Dec 28, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Part of me hopes that Michael does this transfer, if only because then I can see him on TV during league play (something tells me that NBCSN will show a lot of Fulham if he does, just like they highlight Sunderland now)………but does he really want to be on a relegated team come summer? I suppose he could get some assurance from Shad Khan that he’d Newcastle a relegated team and get them right back up, but is it worth it?

    Plus, he’d have to do Berba’s defensive work, and put up with his dirty looks when he doesn’t get him the ball enough (which is every game, no footballer has deserved service more than Berba, according to Berba).

    But let’s not panic, he’s sure to have more options than Fulham, if in fact Roma is willing to sell him in the first place.

  5. lunasceiling - Dec 28, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Yes, Bradley needs a transfer to somewhere where he’ll get on the pitch. but to a teem careening towards relegation? Not convinced…

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