Five players Fulham should sign

Sports Mole identifies five players who may aid Fulham's chances of finishing in the top half next season.

It was by no means a spectacular campaign where Fulham were concerned, but Martin Jol's side achieved their main aim of retaining their Premier League status last term.

They did, however, have their critics, who claimed that the playing squad at Craven Cottage was now too old. It's a school of thought that Jol appears to agree with, having released the likes of Mark Schwarzer, Chris Baird, Simon Davies, Mahamadou Diarra, Georgios Karagkounis and Mladen Petric.

The likes of Derek Boateng, Fernando Amorebieta and Maarten Stekelenburg have already been recruited, but more work is needed. Here, Sports Mole has picked five more players who could improve Fulham's chances of finishing in the top half next season.

Alexander Buttner, Manchester United

During his time, John Arne Riise has been a decent left-back. At the age of 32, though, there were signs last season that his legs are not in the shape that they once were.

The Norwegian, particularly during his Liverpool days, was able to get up down with great effect.

While he may not be able to score the goals that Riise has done throughout his career from distance, Alexander Buttner showed last year during his brief spells in the Manchester United side that he has potential. He is a full-back who likes to attack, but is quick enough to get back to carry out his defensive duties.

With Patrice Evra, Fabio da Silva and perhaps even Leighton Baines for competition at Old Trafford next year, more starting opportunities with the Whites could well appeal to the Dutchman.

Franco Di Santo, Alexander Buttner© PA Photos

Tom Huddlestone, Tottenham Hotspur

When Danny Murphy departed for Blackburn Rovers last summer, Fulham lost their best ball-playing midfielder. They still had Steve Sidwell and have since purchased Boateng, but both of these are more comfortable when it comes to the industrious side of the game.

When fit, there are few English midfielders who are more comfortable in possession than Huddlestone.

The 26-year-old has a wide range of passing and has shown down the years with Spurs that he is capable of finding the net from outside of the area.

What's more, he is known to have a good relationship with Jol following the pair's spell together at White Hart Lane. A lack of football may prompt the four-capped England international to consider a switch across London.

Scott Sinclair, Manchester City

If ITV were to create a show called 'I'm a struggling Premier League footballer, get me out of here', Sinclair would be the number one contestant.

He made the switch to Man City last summer from Swansea City with high hopes, but that seemingly backfired and he made just 14 appearances in all competitions last season.

Fulham do have a handful of wingers, but perhaps the best (Damien Duff) is on the wrong side of 30. Sinclair would bring some pace to the Whites' attack, while he showed during his time with the Swans that he has a decent eye for goal.

As he is surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium, and with the arrival of Jesus Navas, he is likely to be available for a relatively cheap price.

Fulham may hold the advantage over other potential suitors as knows the area well, having spent a number of years with Chelsea during the early part of his career.

Scott Sinclair© PA Photos

Darren Bent, Aston Villa

There were times last season when Fulham struggled to find the net, particularly away from home.

In fact, without Dimitar Berbatov's return of 15 goals, it's fair to say that Jol's men would have been battling against relegation. Petric was next in the standings with five, but he has been released, while Bryan Ruiz added the same amount as the Croatian.

If nothing else, England frontman Bent guarantees goals. He may have lost his way at Villa recently, but on the rare occasions that he was given a start by manager Paul Lambert, he still looked dangerous.

Like Huddlestone, the 29-year-old has previous with Jol, albeit briefly before the Dutchman was sacked by Spurs.

The switch may also appeal to Bent, who could maybe force his way into Roy Hodgson's plans for the World Cup with a clinical campaign.

Darren Bent© PA Photos

Mame Biram Diouf, Hannover

For one reason or another it didn't work out for Hugo Rodallega at the Cottage and reports have linked the Colombian with a move away over the coming weeks.

If he was to move on, Jol would need not just one but two frontmen to ease the goalscoring burden on Berbatov.

Now, the name Diouf may result in sniggers from some Man United supporters - after all, he hardly impressed during his three-year spell at Old Trafford.

Since then, though, he has been in the Bundesliga and shown a clinical side that had deserted him in England. In 51 appearances for his German employers, the 25-year-old has scored on 27 occasions.

He may now feel that the time is right to show the Premier League that he has got what it takes to succeed in England.

Reading players celebrate in front of fans after their fourth goal against Fulham on May 4, 2013
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