Fulham manager Marco Silva believes a loan move for Terence Kongolo would be a ‘very good solution’ for him at this stage, speaking to The Athletic’s Peter Rutzler.
The 27-year-old was forced to undergo a knee operation in the latter stages of last term, spending the opening stages of the season absent because of this long recovery phase but failing to gain the fitness since to force his way into Marco Silva’s plans.
This has meant he’s failed to appear in a single matchday squad for the Cottagers this season, let alone managed to win a senior appearance at Craven Cottage during the 2021/22 campaign after appearing just four times for the promotion chasers since his arrival at the club.
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First joining the west London outfit in January 2020, initially on a loan deal from current Championship rivals Huddersfield Town, this is a very disappointing record for the Dutchman who would have been eager to kick on in the English capital.
With current boss Silva not even considering the 27-year-old despite his return from injury, the writing seems to be on the wall for Kongolo who may seek a fresh start elsewhere as he continues to remain down in the pecking order.
The club’s reported desire to keep Alfie Mawson and Michael Hector also looks set to provide him with a potentially bleak future at Fulham – and the Cottagers’ manager has now opened up about the outcast’s current situation.
He said: “You haven’t seen Terence because he wasn’t in the condition, that’s the main thing.
“One thing is to train, the other is to be in condition to compete at a high level, at a high intensity.
“Kongolo, wasn’t and is still not, in this condition. He needs to play more. He needs to play games.
“A loan option would be a very good solution for him, because he’s a player that we believe has the quality, and needs to play more games and go somewhere where he can play.”
Kongolo’s injury record must not only be a real source of frustration for the player himself, but also Fulham who know the talent he has but isn’t reliable enough at this stage to be a viable option for them.
With Tosin Adarabioyo, Tim Ream, Alfie Mawson and Michael Hector available as others options and the Cottagers only operating with two central defenders, having the Dutchman fit would allow Silva to focus on other areas in the transfer market.
But many would agree with the promotion chaser’s boss that he needs a fresh, temporary start elsewhere to build up his match fitness and prove he can be a real asset going into the next campaign, whether the club remains in the Championship or go on to ply their trade in the Premier League.
They may not have a choice in terms of letting him go permanently or temporarily – because most clubs would be hesitant to opt for the former knowing his strugglers in the last two years and in the hope of getting him fully fit for the long term – his current side won’t want to cash in on him now in case he becomes a real asset in the future.
His contract doesn’t run out until 2024 though, so they won’t have the tough call on whether to offer him a new deal or not at the end of this campaign.