The big Fulham headline from this week is that the Harvey Elliott saga is finally set to come to an end.
For the past 18 months, Fulham have pursued Liverpool for a fee for the teenage starlet after he left the club on a free transfer, but after failing to agree a compensation fee, the Whites are now set to go to a tribunal.
Of course, the Whites would never have been in such a predicament if they had been able to convince Elliott to stay, and this issue of mishandling young talent seems to keep cropping up.
Indeed, This comes just one week after Josh Maja was re-signed almost five years after he was let go from the academy, and in the past month we’ve watched Matt O’Riley starring for MK Dons after being let go in the summer.
Yes, O’Riley is only playing in League One, but he looks head and shoulders above everyone else in that division, and he’s showing why plenty of Europe’s top sides were looking at him in the past.
Another young player who top European sides have looked at is Timmy Abraham, who was apparently close to joining Borussia Dortmund in the summer, but he’s now plying his trade with Raith Rovers in the Scottish second division, which doesn’t seem like the best usage of his talents.
Ryan Sessegnon aside, Fulham continue to drop the ball with their talented young players, and that’s something that simply needs to stop.
Elliott, O’Riley and Maja have almost haunted Fulham over the past two weeks as if they were ghosts in a Charles Dickens novel, and this should give Fulham the wake-up call they need to change their ways.
The likes of Jay Stansfield, Fabio Carvalho and Sylvester Jasper look like they could be the next big stars coming out of Craven Cottage, and if Fulham are to make the most of their category one academy, they need to start handling these players better.