Fulham manager Scott Parker has revealed that Anthony Knockaert was loaned to Nottingham Forest as part of an attempt to trim down his squad.
The 28-year-old joined Forest late in the transfer window, reuniting with new manager Chris Hughton three years after the duo helped Brighton secure promotion to the Premier League.
Knockaert only signed permanently with Fulham earlier this summer, which meant there were questions raised by some over the decision to send him out on loan this term.
Speaking to West London Sport, Parker provided insight into the west London club’s transfer strategy and revealed that they had been trying to offload players late in the window.
He said: “It’s a big challenge. It’s a very big squad and we tried to trim that squad down.
“Now, it’s a job for me to manage individuals and team dynamics; managing that team cohesion gives us the best chance.
“There’s going to be players who won’t get into that squad. But I’ve faced that challenge before and it’s up to me to make a decision as a squad up until January.”
Knockaert secured a third promotion to the Premier League by helping Fulham make it to the top flight last term and the City Ground faithful will no doubt be hoping he can make it four with the Reds this season.
The winger struggled for consistency at times in the 2019/20 campaign and had been limited to just Carabao Cup appearances this term with Fulham.
However, he has thrived under Hughton in the past, scoring 15 times and adding nine assists in when Brighton were promoted in 2017.
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Signing Knockaert was a fantastic way for Forest to end a very busy window but you can understand why some Fulham fans would be frustrated by the move, with the winger only joining permanently earlier this summer.
Parker’s explanation of their strategy late on shows exactly why the deal had been sanctioned, with the arrivals of players like Ademola Lookman and Ruben Loftus-Cheek meaning the 28-year-old had fallen down the pecking order.
The financial contribution they’re likely to be receiving from Forest will be a boost as well, particularly given the current global situation.