Why Fulham loaned out Knockaert so soon after his move

Anthony Knockaert

Many Fulham fans have expressed dismay over the loan deal that took Anthony Knockaert to Nottingham Forest on EFL deadline day.

The club only converted his loan from Brighton to a permanent contract just four months ago.

Why sign him permanently just to loan him out, was the gist of supporter gripes.

But Fulham’s hands were tied by the nature of the deal which led to him being bought from Brighton.

A permanent transfer was triggered when the French winger made a number of appearances, understood to be 30.

He made 46 in all competitions during 2019/20.

Knockaert was seen as an important contributor to Whites successful bid back to the Premier League at the first attempt, but accepted his chances this term would be limited.

And with his first-team prospects at Fulham looking slim, he was allowed to join Forest.

Head coach Scott Parker already has 29 players vying for 25 Premier League spots.

Parker admits he has a “big challenge” on his hands with the disaffected players who won’t get a Fulham squad number.

The Whites were hoping to loan or transfer another three or four players on deadline day.

Instead, they managed to offload just one – Knockaert’s temporary switch – with Terence Kongolo arriving after a move from Huddersfield.

That leaves Parker with a headache.

At least four of his players will be out in the cold until January at the earliest.

Parker has to decide which four players from his squad of 29 to leave out in order to meet the requisite 25 allowed by the Premier League.

He said: “It’s a big challenge. It’s a very big squad and we tried to trim that squad down.

“Now, it’s a job for me to manage individuals and team dynamics; managing that team cohesion gives us the best chance.

“There’s going to be players who won’t get into that squad. But I’ve faced that challenge before and it’s up to me to make a decision as a squad up until January.”