Fulham look to spain for defensive help


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Scott Parker is looking to address Fulham’s defensive problems with the capture of Levante centre-back Chema.

The Cottagers spent vast sums on new players last summer but were still unable to maintain their top-flight status and suffered relegation after one season in the Premier League. The rearguard was found wanting all season, with the west Londoners conceding 81 league goals from their 38 games – the highest in the division.

While they will not find the second tier so challenging it is still a tough league, and the manager knows that he has to address the issues at the back to stand any chance of pushing for promotion. With that in mind, it seems as though Fulham have looked to La Liga for their next recruit, with Spanish publication El Desmarque suggesting an official bid has been submitted.

Chema, who was once on the fringes of the Atletico Madrid side, has made 77 appearances for Granotas – 44 in La Liga – and is known to be an old school type of defender who prioritises stopping opposition attacks over fancy footwork of his own.

He would seem a perfect fit for the cut and thrust of the Championship, where games come thick and fast and the pace of play can be frantic. Aged 27, he has the experience of playing in Spain’s lower leagues as well as the top flight and could be someone to build the defence around over the next few years.

It remains to be seen how Parker and his troops fare out of England’s top division but they can be backed at 9.00 to win the Championship title.

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