Following Clint Dempsey’s incredible form for Fulham, a number of big teams have speculated a big money move this summer for the 29-year-old attacking midfielder.
Last season, American born Dempsey set a new record for a Fulham player for goals in a season. 12 goals scored overtook the best of all other seasons in the West London club’s history. It was safe to say that Dempsey was reaching the peak of his career. But this year he has been even more impressive. Dempsey has had a once-in-a-lifetime season for Fulham with 27 goals in 53 games in all competitions. His 16 league goals put him behind just Sergio Aguero, Wayne Rooney, and Robin Van Persie for fourth in the Premier League. With goals scored from penalties removed, Dempsey moves up to third, just one behind Rooney.
This year, Dempsey became the first American to score a hat trick in the Premier League after scoring three times in a 5-2 win against Newcastle. He recently scored to give Fulham a 1-1 draw with local rivals Chelsea, and scored the winner against Liverpool earlier this year at Craven Cottage. With the form Dempsey is in, he could play at the highest level of European club football and many top clubs are beginning to realise this.
Manager Martin Jol has urged Clint Dempsey to stay at Craven Cottage. Fulham’s star man has scored 16 league goals this season and is one of the main reasons the side are sitting in 10th place in the Premier League table without relegation worries. A scenario incomparable to previous seasons. Dempsey, however, has one year left on his contract and Jol, who lost Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United for £30m when he managed Tottenham Hotspur, fears that a big club could come in with an offer for the United States international which Fulham could not turn down. Recognising that interest in Dempsey is likely to peak in the summer transfer window, Jol is reported as saying: “It depends on the club that is coming in. At Spurs I had the same situation with Berbatov, if it is a big club then maybe you have a little problem.”
Signed for just £3 million in 2007, Dempsey’s value is now an estimated £10 million. Regardless of this price-tag interest is thought to be extremely high. For the first time ever, it seems an American may be at the center of some of the biggest transfer stories during the upcoming summer. Reports suggest the 29-year-old is the object of desire for two rival London-based teams, Tottenham and Arsenal. Even Manchester United are rumored to be looking to add his services to their already talented team selection.
However, Dempsey claims he is in no rush to decide on his future as he approaches the final year of his contract.
He said: “We will see what happens. It is one of my best memories of being at Fulham, this season, and I have one more to go.
“I am talking with the club but we will have to see what happens in the summer.
“I want to focus on this season and my football and other stuff can take care of itself after the season.”
All this speculation has been welcomed by Dempsey, who is playing it safe, not expressing any interest in leaving the club. However, he is yet to sign an extension on his contract, which is set to end after the next season. If no deal is made, there could be a good chance the club cashes in on the player rather than letting him go for nothing. This In my eyes would be extremely foolish, as Dempsey is such a great talent. However, At 29 years old, the number of years left in Dempsey could be questioned, but I don’t see this as an issue. Surely his career is on an upward curve, plus his incredible goal scoring statistics speak for themselves, clearly he still has stacks of quality. But, if Fulham do fail to keep the American forward this summer, then potentially his States-side fans will finally be able to watch him play in the UEFA Champions League.