Wednesday, January 10, 2007

ATH: Texan Dempsey in EPL

Fulham close in on Dempsey swoop

American midfielder Clint Dempsey is set to complete a £2m move to Fulham after being granted a work permit.

"He has all the attributes to be a good player in the Premiership," said Fulham boss Chris Coleman of the 23-year-old.

"It's not like he's coming here to sit on the bench. He's coming because we've bought him to make a big impact."

The Home Office granted Dempsey a work permit despite the fact injury meant he failed to play in the requisite 75% of his country's matches in 2006.

Dempsey has 23 caps to his name but only featured in nine of the USA's 13 matches last year.

Coleman feared that may leave the deal, which was agreed late in 2006, dead in the water.

But he is delighted to have got a permit for Dempsey, who looks set to join fellow USA internationals Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride at Craven Cottage.

It's a great credit to him and the level of play in MLS that Fulham pushed so hard to get him
Steve Nicol, New England Revolution head coach

"I saw him about two years ago and then saw him playing at the World Cup for the US," added Coleman.

"Then I went out to watch him playing a few times in the States for New England and have always liked him."

Dempsey was named the Major League's rookie of the year in 2004 and is now the most expensive US export to the Premiership.

New England head coach Steve Nicol, the former Liverpool defender, said: "We're pleased this opportunity worked out for Clint. We wish him nothing but the best as he heads to the Premiership.

"He has been a tremendous player for us. Clint developed his game a great deal during his time with the Revolution.

"It's a great credit to him and the level of play in MLS that Fulham pushed so hard to get him."

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