Fulham have been linked with Jason Denayer recently and the free agent could prove to be the next Joachim Andersen in Marco Silva’s side.
Recent reports have suggested that Fulham could look to bring in the Belgian centre-back, who is available on a free transfer after leaving Olympique Lyon earlier in the summer.
The former Manchester City man enjoyed the most fruitful spell of his career thus far in France, making 139 appearances for Les Gones, in which he contributed eight goals and three assists.
Denayer has experience of Premier League football, having featured 27 times for Sunderland during a loan spell in the 2016/17 season and could return to the top flight a much better player than the one who left Manchester City for Lyon in 2018.
Last season saw the 27-year-old defender make just 15 appearances in Ligue 1 for Lyon, so it is easy to see why he left the club on a free transfer, but Fulham could be the ones to benefit.
Should he arrive at Craven Cottage, he could prove to be another Andersen, with the Danish defender becoming a fan favourite at the club during the 2020/21 Premier League season despite relegation from the top flight.
The centre-back, who joined Fulham on loan from Lyon, looked a cut above in the Cottagers’ side and was ranked by WhoScored as their fourth-best performer across the season of those to make at least 10 starts.
He has since gone on to establish himself as a solid centre-back in the Premier League with Crystal Palace, with his physicality and passing ability evident in his performances for the Eagles.
Andersen’s former coach Svend Graversen spoke highly of the defender’s passing ability to The Athletic, saying:
“He was the leader in defence — I put him at centre-back but he was normally a midfielder. You could see the calmness on the ball, his awareness, especially the space in front of him in the defence was very good.”
Denayer could emulate this in Fulham’s side should he make the move to Craven Cottage, as FBref ranks him in the top percentile for pass completion when compared to other centre-backs.
Even as a youngster, Denayer’s ability on the ball as a defender was evident, as former Belgium boss Marc Wilmots testified.
He said: “Always calm. I’ve never seen him nervous; he has a lot of confidence and there will be someone with experience standing next to him.”
Therefore, the similarities between Andersen and Denayer are clear to see and considering he is available on a free transfer, it is surely a no-brainer for Silva to bring him to Craven Cottage.