Soccer

English Premier Analysis: Schwarzer, Fulham and More

| by World Soccer Reader

Arsenal target Mark Schwarzer has penned a new deal with Fulham.

Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer has ended speculation about his future by signing a new contract, keeping him at Craven Cottage until 2012.

The Australian international was pursued heavily by Arsenal last summer, and the Gunners had two bids turned down by the Cottagers. With Arsenal goalkeepers Manuel Almunia and Lucasz Fabianski still failing to impress over the last two seasons, manager Arsene Wenger has reportedly been out to find a new first choice keeper. Now that Schwarzer, 38, has signed a new two-year contract, that option is now most likely out.

The Australian told Fulham’s website that he was happy to pen a new deal. “The club, manager, and team have all highlighted their desire to see me stay at the Cottage and after successful negotiations I can confirm that my future is with Fulham,” he said.

Fulham have enjoyed a less-than-stellar start under new manager Mark Hughes, and the club currently sit in 17th place in the league.

Around the League

Speaking of Arsenal, Wenger said that he will not be dipping into the market this January. He will, however, be boosted by the return of young midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who suffered a compound fracture in his leg last February during a match against Stoke. The Welshman has joined Championship club Nottingham Forest for a two month loan, and Wenger will be hoping he comes out of the experience ready for a return Premier League, especially after captain Cesc Fabregas said that there is no timescale for his return from injury.

Arsenal’s London neighbors West Ham are enjoying a tough start to the season, sitting bottom of the Premier League table. The club is set to put the services of striker Carlton Cole up for sale in January after Cole criticized manager Avram Grant last week. With the Hammers still in around £90 million in debt, a good offer for Cole will likely be snapped up, even though the striker grabbed two goals in Tuesday’s 4-0 victory against Manchester United in the Carling Cup. It is rumored that Cole will be available for £10 million.

Up north, Emmanuel Adebayor has been linked with a move away from Manchester City in the January transfer window. He is reportedly unhappy with life at Eastlands after falling down the striker pecking order, and the former Arsenal man is rumored to be on the wish list at both Tottenham and Juventus. Should Arsenal’s hero-turned-villain go to bitter rivals Spurs, you can bet that the North London derby would be even more intense than usual (and that’s saying something).