£18m ace to miss training with upcoming move from Fulham agrees 4-year deal

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Joao Palhinha will miss the start of pre-season training at Sporting Lisbon as the midfielder, who is tied to the Premier League, is close to an £18million move to Fulham, the Portuguese publication report Zero zero.

If anything sums up the difference between preparing for life in the Championship and preparing for life in the Premier League, it is Fulham’s decision to release Jean-Michael Seri while investing €20m in Palhinha.

Seri, Marco Silva’s number six for most of last season, is certainly more of a ballplayer than a ball-winner.

With Fulham rolling over most other teams in the division, the former Everton and Watford boss could get away with using Seri as a deep-lying, pace-setting and string-pulling playmaker at the heart of his midfield.

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However, it almost goes without saying that Fulham won’t be able to slog and saunter through the top flight like they did in the second division. If Seri’s job was to launch attacks, then Palhinha’s job is to stop them. His positional sense, mobility and physicality could prove invaluable.

Fulham are close to finalizing a £18m deal with Joao Palhinha

Palhinha averaged three successful tackles per game in 2021/22. series; 1.4. In addition, Palhinha also averages more interceptions while standing nearly a foot taller than the now non-affiliated Ivorian (who scored).

Palhinha’s arrival, coupled with Seri’s departure, then feels like an acknowledgment of the tactical changes Fulham need to make if they are to avoid a repeat of 2019 and 2021. An acceptance of the fact that Fulham are likely to spend much of next season on the back foot.

Photo by Joao Rico/vi/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

“I saw him play for Portugal. And I’ll tell you what, I was really impressed with him,” said Cottagers legend Danny Murphy talkSPORT from Palhinha. “That looks like a bargain!”

It definitely does. Fulham will reportedly pay £18million up front and hand Palhinha a four-year deal at Craven Cottage worth £40,000 a week. So it’s hardly cheap, but it has to be said that in previous transfer windows, Sporting charged far, far more than that.

According to ZeroZero, Palhinha will not be at Sporting’s training ground before pre-season training. He is expected to be unveiled in west London in the coming days.

Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

In other news, Report: Newcastle just aren’t giving up on signing £43m Arsenal target

https://www.hitc.com/en-gb/2022/06/28/18m-ace-to-miss-training-with-fulham-move-imminent-agrees-4-year-deal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=18m-ace-to-miss-training-with-fulham-move-imminent-agrees-4-year-deal £18m ace to miss training with upcoming move from Fulham agrees 4-year deal

Brian Ashcraft

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