Beanpole Traore could help Fulham starve off relegation threat

A raft of injury problems in attack this season could be one of the reasons why Fulham find themselves just outside the relegations places in the Premier League, but Mark Hughes has already identified a target to ease the problem come January.

Fulham’s betting odds are 5/1 to be relegated this season and the fact that they have the third worst attack in the top-flight is one reason that they are just one point clear of the drop zone.

Hughes’ team have averaged just a goal a game across their opening 15 Premier League fixtures and this has meant that they have only picked up two victories.

The fact that Bobby Zamora is ruled out for the season will not help their problems in front of goal, while Andy Johnson and Moussa Dembele have also been impacted by injury troubles.

But Hughes thinks he has the answer to their problem in young Ivory Coast striker Lacina Traore, who has impressed both in Romania and in the Champions League with Cluj this season.

According to the Daily Mirror, Cluj sources have revealed that a deal has already been agreed for the 20-year-old, who will add a presence to the Fulham attack at 6ft 8ins.

However, Traore is not just a target man as he has an excellent left foot and some impressive ball skills for someone of his height.

In fact, his awkward and gangly style has also led to other English interest from Liverpool and Aston Villa, while German giants Bayern Munich have had their name linked.

The move could be especially shrewd for Hughes as Traore could add a different dimension to the Fulham attack and he could prove an especially useful ally to compliment the pace of Johnson when he returns to full fitness.

Traore has 17 goals in 40 appearances for Cluj and helped the team secure the Romanian title last season.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.