This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Fulham manager Scott Parker is on the look-out for additional attacking options as he looks to maintain his side’s promotion challenge, with a move for Huddersfield Town winger Issac Mbenza being considered, according to French media outlet L’Equipe.
Mbenza arrived at the John Smith’s Stadium in 2018, initially on-loan before making the move permanent in the summer of 2019, but the 23-year-old has struggled for game-time having failed to make an appearance for the Terriers in five months.
So would Mbenza be a good addition at Craven Cottage and is he actually needed?
“I don’t see the point in this at all.
“Fulham have so many options in the final third, which was evident last time out. Parker had a front three of Ivan Cavaleiro, Anthony Knockaert and Bobby Reid and that was with Aleksandar Mitrovic and Aboubakar Kamara not involved.
“When you consider Tom Cairney can play in advanced roles and Neeskens Kebano is still at the club, you’d have to say a move for Mbenza doesn’t make sense. He hasn’t done enough at Huddersfield to suggest he will make a positive impact at Craven Cottage.
“They should only be looking to bring in a new attacking player if they’re a clear upgrade on what they have and the Huddersfield man doesn’t fit into that category. They should wait to see if anyone else comes up or otherwise stick with what they have.”
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“Isaac Mbenza is another player who’s been exiled by Danny Cowley – since the ex-Lincoln City boss took charge of the club, Mbenza has played less than 90-minutes of football. He’s still a young player though and one who can still have a solid career in England.
“The 23-year-old arrived in England with a reputation as a pacey, direct winger or front-man with good finishing ability. But Huddersfield were atrocious last season, and it was always going to be hard for any incoming player to have a real impact in such a poor squad.
“Scott Parker should work hard to bring Mbenza to Craven Cottage. They’ve got some good players in attacking positions but the likes of Bobby Reid and Anthony Knockaert are on-loan (Reid with a view to signing permanently), and Aleksandar Mitrovic looking like he could be out the door any minute.
“It’d cost Fulham a pretty penny but I think Mbenza would be worth it – he’s a player with a point to prove in the English game and playing in Parker’s fast-paced Fulham team could pull the best out of the Frenchman.”
“Mbenza clearly has a lot of ability and could well be an exciting addition to the Fulham set-up.
“But is he needed? I don’t think so. When you look at the wide players already at the club’s disposal, it seems like a bit of a waste of money frankly.
“Ivan Cavaleiro, Anthony Knockaert, Aboubakar Kamara, Neeskens Kebano and even Bobby Decordova-Reid are all capable of playing on both wings.
“Perhaps if all other priorities are sorted first, then Fulham could make a move for Mbenza. But until then, I think a move would be ill-judged.”