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 has bolstered his ranks with the signing of Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert on a season-long loan, with a view to a permanent deal, as confirmed on the Cottagers club website.
The Frenchman, 27, spent three-and-a-half years at Brighton, scoring 27 goals in 139 appearances and was named the EFL’s Championship Player of the Year in 2017 as Albion won promotion to the Premier League.
The clubs have agreed an undisclosed fee for Knockaert, with a permanent move to Scott Parker’s side expected to go through next summer.
So will Knockaert prove a hit at Craven Cottage? Is it a good signing for Fulham?
“This signing is without question great news for Fulham who needed a new winger following the recent departures of Andre Schurrle, Lazar Markovic and Ryan Babel.
“A proven performer at Championship level, Knockaert has achieved promotion on two occasions from this division with Leicester City and Brighton & Hove Albion and will undoubtedly be looking to make it a hat-trick at Craven Cottage during the upcoming season.
“In his most recent second tier campaign with the Seagulls, the Frenchman fired in 15 goals whilst also providing nine assists for his team-mates with his outstanding levels of consistency leading to him being rightfully named the league’s Player of the Year.
“If Knockaert can replicate this form under the guidance of Scott Parker, there is no reason why Fulham cannot secure an immediate return to the Premier League in 2020 and thus banish the memories of what was an awful showing last season.”
“I think this is an excellent move by Fulham and gives them a really dangerous front three.
“Knockaert has proven at both Brighton and Leicester that he can thrive in the Championship and his record in the league, 33 goals and 29 assists, shows that Fulham have got a player that should score and create goals.
“Last time he was in the Championship he put together a scintillating season, grabbing 15 goals and nine assists on his way to a place in the team of the season, and if he can get back to that sort of form Fulham will be well on their way.
“He also brings some vital experience of getting promoted, having done it with both Leicester City and Brighton.”
“This is an excellent move.
“Even though he didn’t quite live up to expectations in the Premier League with Brighton, Knockaert is still a fantastic player and was magnificent the last time he was in the Championship.
“He was arguably the best player in the division when Brighton won promotion in 2016/17 and without his goals and assists the Seagulls may not have finished in the top two.
“He’s got pace, skill, great technical ability and will be able to both create and score goals from out wide.
“On top of that, he’s also got plenty of experience in the Championship and knows what it takes to win promotion to the Premier League.
“I think he’s a fantastic signing for the Whites and I fully expect him to make an impact next season.”