One to Watch - Clint Dempsey
Name: Clint Dempsey
Date of Birth: 9/3/1983
Former Clubs: New England Revolution
League Appearances (Goals): 243 (68)
International Appearances (Goals): 82 (24)
Stat of the Day: Only Didier Drogba has hit more shots on target in the Premier League this season than Fulham's Clint Dempsey
Clint Dempsey is the first person this season to feature in our One to Watch section for a second time and arriving in nothing short of superb form the American will probably be hoping to be as instrumental as he was in the 6-0 demolition at the Cottage in October. Numerous talented attacking individuals have frequently seen their flamboyance wasted out on the wing owing to a manager`s apprehension at playing a skilful and unpredictable player in their actual position (a certain Adel Taarabt comes to mind) and Dempsey is no different to any of these unfortunate individuals. Recently, however, Dempsey has been allowed to roam and exhibit his talents in a more attacking role and Fulham are certainly reaping the rewards. Two impressive hat-tricks in quick succession has seen his goal tally soar to 16 goals in all competitions this season and the 28-year-old has been instrumental in Fulham`s quest for Premier League survival yet again.
Dempsey is a tough minded player and is not one to shirk away from a scrappy, testing battle; Saturday`s game smells of such an affair and in Dempsey, Fulham have someone that could be the key to opening up the game with a moment of brilliance. Should QPR snuff out the service to the American, Dempsey will more likely than not grow frustrated and go hunting for the ball which could certainly play to Mark Hughes side`s advantage. Dempsey is certainly a player that has a bit of everything - great dribbling technique, an impressive heading ability and the skill of getting in simple goal scoring positions. One of the many under-rated players in the Premier League the American is definitely one to watch out for on Sunday.
Dempsey started off his career at The New England Revolution, where in his first season he scored seven goals in 24 appearances, earning him the honor of 'MLS Rookie of the Year 2004`. In 2007 Fulham signed Dempsey for $4 million, then the largest amount ever offered for an MLS player. During his first few months at Craven Cottage, Fulham`s longest serving player helped retain the club`s top-flight status at the end of the 2006/07 with a winning goal against Liverpool. Dempsey continued his goal scoring form the season after, finishing as the club`s joint top scorer in the league with seven alongside Andrew Johnson.
At the end of the 2008/09 season the frontman led the United States to the final of the Confederations Cup, underlining his talent on the international stage with three goals in five games - form that earned him the Bronze Ball as the tournament`s third best player behind Tim Howard and winner Kaka. During the 2009/10 season Dempsey more than played his part in helping Fulham reach the Final of the UEFA Europa League. It was his winning goal against Juventus, a spectacular chip from 20 yards, which earned Fulham a 5-4 aggregate victory over the Italian giants.
Following his European adventure with Fulham, Dempsey headed to the 2010 World Cup, managing to 'score` against England. Dempsey returned to Fulham to lead the line admirably during the 2010/11 season, scoring 13 goals as Fulham finished the season in 8th place. This season has already seen Dempsey close in on his best scoring season for The Cottagers and is only three goals short of eclipsing his previous best.