Why Fulham need to make a call on the future of Ibrahima Cisse in January
It has been somewhat of a mixed start to the campaign for Fulham upon their return to life in the Championship and Scott Parker’s side haven’t really been able to do justice to their tag as one of the favourites for promotion back to the top-flight at the first time of asking.
After suffering relegation from the Premier League, the high-profile names like Jean Michael Seri, Fabri, Ryan Babel, Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa, Ryan Sessegnon and Rui Fonte all departed Craven Cottage in the summer, either on loan or on permanent deals.
Meanwhile, Fulham chose to bring in a few previously proven Championship talents to plug the holes.
The likes of Harrison Reed, Harry Arter, Ivan Cavaleiro, Anthony Knockaert and Bobby Reid were all arrived on loan deals from various clubs and Parker has plenty of positives to take from how the fresh summer recruits have fared in the first few rounds, despite a patchy start to the new season.
Yet, there are some who are still left lost in the cold at Craven Cottage and will be expected to push for a departure in January, with defensive midfielder Ibrahima Cisse being a prime example of a player who has found himself completely frozen out of the first-team fold.
Born in Belgium to parents of Guinean descent, Ibrahima Cisse rose to prominence at Standard Liege before making a move to Fulham ahead of the 2017-18 campaign.
The Cottagers would then go on to secure promotion to the Premier League under the stewardship of Slavisa Jokanovic but the midfielder never really played a big part in the club’s promotion-winning campaign.
When Cisse only started once in the Premier League the last term, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the 25-year-old, and with Fulham adding Reed and Arter to an already well-stocked midfield unit consisting of Tom Cairney, Stefan Johansen and Kevin McDonald, he was never going to get a look in from the manager.
To that end, a loan move elsewhere or even a permanent move away from West London in the summer would have made perfect sense for both parties involved. Surprisingly enough, though, Parker opted to retain his services for some unknown reason.
Well, whatever might have been the reason behind that stance, the result is there for everybody to see. Leave alone a single appearance, Cisse has not even managed to make it to the matchday squads for any of the club’s fixtures thus far, which clearly indicates that he is too far down the pecking order.
Barring a serious injury crisis at the club, things are unlikely to change for Ibrahima Cisse in the coming months and Fulham should make amends by arranging a loan deal for the midfielder in January.
Of course, A permanent move elsewhere would be a better settlement but given his lack of playtime in recent seasons, the Cottagers might find potential suitors hard to come by.
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Constantly sitting on the sidelines at the age of 25 is not something that any professional footballer wants and it hardly makes sense for Fulham to pay him the wages for doing next to nothing.