Deadline day striker signings and Fulham FC, name a more iconic duo.
The Whites were at it again on deadline day, and after signing the likes of Bobby Decordova-Reid, Luciano Vietto, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Cyriac on deadline day in recent years, Josh Maja has joined the list of strikers signed by Tony Khan on the final day of a transfer window.
We all know that strikers signed on short notice can go one of two ways, just look at the four aforementioned names as proof, but there is reason to believe that Josh Maja will be more of a Pavel Pogrebnyak than a Kostas Mitroglou.
Maja knows where the net is, after all, he scored 15 goals in 24 League One appearances for Sunderland the last time he was in England, and while League One football isn’t always the greatest barometer of a player’s talent, you only have to look at what Ivan Toney is doing in the Championship this season to see what a striker from that level can do.
As long as Maja knows where the net is, that’s all that matters, Fulham aren’t bad when it comes to creating chances, but there’s rarely been anyone there to finish them off, and he could be that man, with Parker describing him as a good finisher immediately after signing him.
The last striker to make a big impact in the Premier League after joining Fulham on a January deadline day was Pogrebnyak, and it looks as though Maja could follow in his footsteps.
Of course, another move that made headlines on deadline day was a failed pursuit of Josh King, a player Fulham looked to sign on rather precarious terms in the final hours of the window, with some journalists claiming that he was being offered a release clause for a move in the summer if the Whites went down.
King has reportedly been asking for wages in excess of £100,000 a week this month, so financially this would have been a big gamble, and you can’t imagine he’d have the drive and fight within him if he’s already carving out an exit plan before he’s arrived.
Of course, Fulham have also been here before, spending a club-record fee on Kostas Mitroglou back in 2014, a striker who commanded big money but didn’t have the right attitude to succeed, playing just three games for the club before being shipped out.
The King deal was red flag after red flag, and a player on big wages unwilling to fight for the badge is the last thing you need at this juncture.
King may go on to do well at Everton, after all, he has proven he can score goals at this level, but the terms presented were risky and this was a gamble Fulham were wise to avoid taking.
King could have been the new Mitroglou, while Maja could well be the new Pogrebnyak, and we can only hope that his goals are enough to fire the Cottagers to safety.