Fulham like a lot of clubs in the Premier League have looked to conduct their business early on in the window. They have signed Derek Boateng and Fernando Amorebieta on frees and Maarten Stekelenburg from Roma. These are all promising signings which will help a squad that is going through a transition phase. Fulham are gradually improving the quality of the players, but there is one signing that trumps the lot. Sascha Riether.
When Sascha Riether was signed on loan from FC Koln last season not that much was known about him in England. However, one season later, Fulham fans were desperate for Riether to be signed permanently and at the end of the campaign they got their wish when the German transferred permanently for £1.3 million. Riether was deservedly Fulham’s Player of the Year last year ahead of the likes of Berbatov and Ruiz. The two attacking stars often stole the headline but Riether’s consistent performances from right-back were what impressed the Fulham faithful the most.
Whether it was shutting out left-wingers or terrorising his opposite full-back Riether was a joy to watch and he is probably one of the stronger right-backs in the league right now. He finished with a Performance Score of 949 which was comfortably the highest of any defender, 140 points above the next highest Brede Hangeland. It also meant that he was the third highest points scorer at the club behind Berbatov and Ruiz. He completed 85% of his passes last season and won 81% of his tackles by comparison his opposite full-back John Arne Riise won 73% of his tackles and completed just 76% of his passes.
Everyone talks about getting value from your players, and in the Premier League, clubs are often guilty of paying over the odds. The signing of Michu last season by Swansea re-confirmed most clubs’ desires to find that elusive player to push you away from your rivals but for a nominal fee. Most clubs will look to goalscorers because goals win matches but in Riether, Fulham have a made a really top signing. £1.3 million is virtually peanuts especially when you take into consideration the new TV deal and to pick up a player of Riether’s class for that fee is great business.
Topics: Sascha Riether