Fulham leading the chase to sign English fullback: A smart move by Ranieri

According to The Sun, Fulham are tipped as favourites to sign Nathaniel Clyne in the upcoming January transfer window.

The Liverpool defender, who is also being courted by Cardiff City, has fallen down the pecking order following the breakthrough of Trent-Alexander Arnold last season and could be keen to seek a move away from Anfield after the turn of the year. But, is the ideal target for the Cottagers?

Nathaniel Clyne: Player profile

Clyna moved to Liverpool in the summer of 2015, for a fee of £15 million. He quickly managed to make himself a regular fixture under Brendan Rodgers and later, Jurgen Klopp, making 33 league appearances in his debut campaign.

He was a first-team regular for the next couple of seasons until a terrible back injury in the 2017/18 season halted his progress. The former Southampton defender was sidelined for almost nine months, which, in turn, allowed Trent-Alexander Arnold to make an impression and a very good one at that.

As far as his gameplay is concerned, Clyne is a pacy right-back, who is known for his athleticism and tenacity. He’s also quite effective when it comes to loading crosses into the box while his athletic figure allows him to quickly cover up ground.

Clyne is a ferocious tackler as well and his excellent tenacity helps him become a vital cog in his team’s pressing unit. However, the 27-year-old isn’t exactly tall, which serves as a key reason for his lack of aerial success.

Should Fulham sign Nathaniel Clyne?

Fulham’s struggles in the full-back department this season have been well documented and thus, Nathaniel Clyne can emerge as an ideal suitor for a number of reasons.

As discussed earlier, the Liverpool star is known for his athleticism, which is an ideal characteristic for any player working under Claudio Ranieri. Additionally, Clyne’s effective pressing and good use of the touchline can not only provide Fulham more width going forward but also enhance their overall dynamics without the ball.

On the flip side, the only downside regarding his potential move to London will be his lack of fitness. Clyne has hardly played regular football in the past 18 months and it’s highly probable that the 27-year-old may struggle in integrating back into the highest level of football and could, thus, take time to settle himself before regaining his old self and even that comes with a pinch of uncertainty.

That being said, Clyne already has a vast amount of experience in the English top flight, which will surely prove useful to the Fulham side as they aim to make a swift recovery under the leadership of Ranieri and considering all the potential aspects of this transfer, this is a move Ranieri should push for.

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