Thursday, August 1, 2013

Jol downplays Dempsey loan to Fulham speculation

Fulham manager Martin Jol downplayed rumors suggesting American midfielder Clint Dempsey is in line for a winter loan to the London club.

"It’s unbelievable speculation, which is nice," he told reporters. "I never talk about players, especially when they are not here."

Dempsey starred for Fulham between 2007 and 2012 before moving to Tottenham in the summer of 2012. He spent less than a year with Tottenham before returning to the United States in August 2013 to join the Seattle Sounders as the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer.
Earlier this year, Jol lamented the hole Dempsey's departure created in the Fulham team.

"Clint Dempsey always made the difference," he said at a news conference in February. "I feel if Clint Dempsey hadn't been here over the last three or four years, we could've ended up with a real problem. If you look at the points Fulham had because of him... Can you imagine the scenario if Clint hadn't been here over the last three or four years?"

But Dempsey has so far been unable to live up to the expectations brought on by his high salary and high profile in MLS, struggling to integrate with the team and battling a hamstring strain and a shoulder injury.

Things may be turning around, though. Dempsey scored the Sounders' only goal in a 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy and will be key in the team's knockout playoff round match against Colorado. The one-off match takes place Wednesday at 10:30 Eastern at Seattle's Century Link Field.

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