When West Ham United signed Germany international Thilo Kehrer from Paris Saint-Germain in August, it seemed as if Craig Dawson’s days were numbered at the London Stadium.
Flash forward to mid-December, however, and with the winter window slowly creaking open, it’s not Dawson but another, younger member of the West Ham squad who looks set to pay the price for Kehrer’s arrival.
Dawson started all three of West Ham’s final Premier League fixtures before the World Cup break. You cannot say the same of Vladimir Coufal. Left out of Moyes’ XI for each of the last five matches, Coufal has gone from regular starter to frustrated benchwarmer in double-quick time.
Could Fulham sign Vladimir Coufal from West Ham United?
“I went to ask (why I’m not playing so much anymore). But they couldn’t tell me anything about it,” explains the Czech Republic international, via Football Club.
Coufal will be a free-agent in the summer and has reportedly lost the trust of his manager (The Times).
“That’s football. Sometimes you play, sometimes you don’t,” Coufal adds. If the situation that occurred during the autumn were to continue, something will definitely be resolved and is being resolved. I don’t want to sit on the bench here as much as in the autumn.”
When pressed on his potential next step, Coufal admitted that he would prefer to remain on UK soil. A move to a direct Premier League rival is certainly not out of the question.
“If possible, I would like to stay in England. The Premier League is the best league in the world.”
With Sky Sports claiming that two as-yet ‘unnamed’ top-flight clubs are looking to sign Coufal next month, the 30-year-old’s prayers could soon be answered. As for the identity of those suitors? Well, it’s not much of a stretch to suggest Fulham may well be among them.
Sky, after all, say that a new right-back is right at the top of Marco Silva’s winter wishlist. Fulham have walked away from a deal for Roma misfit Rick Karsdorp due to his prohibitive £10 million price-tag, and are now prioritising low-cost additions. Arsenal’s Cedric Soares is one option. Coufal certainly wouldn’t break the bank either, with his contract entering it’s final few months.
He, like Cedric, would add further Premier League experience to Fulham’s squad. And, amid his rather rapid decline at West Ham, it should not be forgotten that Coufal was one of Moyes’ most-trusted lieutenants and one of his most consistent performers during a pair of excellent seasons in East London.
Coufal’s West Ham career may be over. But that doesn’t mean his Premier League career has to be too.