Former Inter Milan centre-back Daniele Adani has described Fulham midfielder and current Napoli loanee Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa as the best midfielder in Serie A, speaking on the Bobo TV Twitch channel.
The 25-year-old handed in a transfer request shortly before the Cottagers’ opening game of the 2021/22 Championship campaign, being omitted from their matchday squad against Neil Warnock’s men but returning to the fold later on in August, with Marco Silva publicly expressing his desire to keep the Cameroonian in west London.
However, his wish wasn’t granted and the wantaway central midfielder secured a loan move to Italian top-tier side Napoli in the latter stages of the transfer window, signing a one-year contract extension at Craven Cottage before flying out to link up with his loan club, amid previous interest from Premier League duo Arsenal and Aston Villa.
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He first arrived at Fulham from Ligue 1 outfit Marseille back in 2018 on the current second-tier side’s return to the Premier League in a huge summer spending spree, signing a five-year deal as he joined for a £22.3m fee.
But despite being a regular player for Marco Silva’s side in the top flight, his loan to Villarreal for the 2019/20 campaign and wish to leave this summer has meant he’s only played 77 minutes of Championship football during his career.
As per the Daily Mail, Napoli have the option to make this deal permanent for a cut-price £9m and judging from recent comments Daniele Adani has made after a good start to life for the Cameroonian at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, this would be a bargain.
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“Anguissa reminds me of the first Michael Essien, not in physique but execution.
“When he played for Lyon, before going to Chelsea and Real Madrid. He really resembled him.”
This just shows how much of an asset he could be to Fulham if they return to the Premier League, but if they want him to return, promotion this season is a non-negotiable.
Without that, Napoli will almost certainly be able to capture him if Anguissa carries on in the same vein and would be seen as a major coup by many if the reported £9m fee is on the money.
But if Cottagers are unable to keep hold of him, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Jean Michael Seri, Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh Onomah and Harrison Reed are all options Marco Silva could utilise, with Tom Cairney as another player in there when he returns, if the 44-year-old wishes to utilise him there.
Anguissa may have already burned his bridges at Craven Cottage after handing in a transfer request anyway, so it would be hard to see him return to west London even if his parent club were able to secure their return to the top flight.
Top-flight football next season isn’t guaranteed though, with AFC Bournemouth, Sheffield United, West Bromwich Albion and others all likely to be in the promotion mix.
The Cherries and the Baggies are currently in the top-two spots with Fulham just behind, but Slavisa Jokanovic’s Blades also look dangerous after their upturn in form and you certainly wouldn’t rule them out.