Report: Dempsey to return to Fulham on short-term loan

Clint Dempsey of Fulham celebrates the opening goal

Photo by


A familiar face could be returning to Craven Cottage on New Year’s Day.

Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey is set to move on a short-term loan to his former club Fulham when the winter transfer window opens up, according to a report in the British newspaper, The Guardian. Dempsey’s loan is expected to take him from Jan. 1 through late-February so that he has time to return and re-adjust to the Sounders ahead of their season opener on Mar. 8 against defending champions Sporting Kansas City.

The U.S. Men’s National Team forward spent 5 and a half years at Fulham, scoring 50 goals in the English Premier League and helping lead Fulham to a Europa League final appearance in 2010. Dempsey eventually manufactured a deadline-day move in August 2012 to Tottenham but just one year later, he decided to move back stateside and join the Sounders, where he struggled to make an impact in his first three months under heavy expectations.

A number of teams have been reportedly interested in bringing in Dempsey on a short-term loan and it’s been expected that he would look for one, considering that USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has urged his Major League Soccer-based internationals to continue playing throughout the long MLS offseason.

The loan return of Dempsey could be just what Fulham needs as they battle to stave off relegation. The London club have already parted ways with head coach Martin Jol as the side currently sit in 19th place in the Premier League. According to the Guardian report, forward Dimitar Berbatov is unhappy about the sacking of Jol and would like to move in January, making Dempsey’s signing, albeit a short one, of even more importance.


What do you think of this report? Do you see Dempsey moving back to Fulham on loan? Think he could produce goals at the same rate he did in 2011/2012?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Featured, MLS- Seattle Sounders, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

82 Responses to Report: Dempsey to return to Fulham on short-term loan

  1. Tiny says:

    think he might extend if the relegation battle is close?

    • Twomilerule says:

      How could he? MLS has him in their hip pocket!
      When LD was all that with Everton everyone thought he would be extended but MLS reeled him in.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Seattle are accumulating Fs like Dempsey might be out a while or be moved around.

      Let’s be real, EPL ends in April and by then MLS is barely going. Dempsey would soon shift over to NT duty and go back away. The issue with loans to me is more injury risk and lack of rest (look at Landon, who I think burnt out….or Gonzo, who got hurt) than that they are that big a loss for MLS rosters. He misses maybe 5-10 games counting international duty.

      I think it’s all a cautionary tale about ambition, Dempsey was a Fulham hero who was top dog on the NT in his Fulham form (not unlike Jozy playing for AZ). Lot of people on here seem to believe you always have to climb that next rung…..solid English team? Now it has to be EPL elite and UCL. The fans loved him in Craven Cottage and he was constantly productive. Why does that have to change?

      • Horsewhistle says:

        Imperative Voice ends statement with a question?
        Dempsey is top US dog because he’s alpha. That’s what they do. Never settle, except they Seattle. They never know their limits until they discover for themselves. Good for him and giving it a go, but he probably already learned you can never go home again, but maybe he can save them from relegation one more time and ascend into the heavens or MLS.
        Plus the new Fs at the Sounders is so Dempsey can play natural spot behind the line in attacking mid. This is really a sign of life after EJ.

      • Vic says:

        True of Donovan however Dempsey will have a much bigger break than Donovan had. New England lost in the playoffs in mid november which will give Dempsey about six weeks off. Galaxy got to the MLS Championship both times Donovan went on loan. So his MLS season ended beginning of December then he had the post season Asian tours. So in fact Donovan only had about two weeks off.

      • GW says:

        Mr. Voice,

        The mindset you are advocating breeds mediocrity and perpetuates the American inferiority complex re their USMNT..

        I want a more ambitious mindset from USMNT players. If they fail they fail.

        I for one am tired of a USMNT that just does pretty good for an American team

  2. Travis says:

    “Jan. 1 through late-February so that he has time to return and re-adjust to the Sounders ahead of their season opener on Mar. 8″

    That makes no sense at all, generally you are going to need more than a week or two in order to “re-adjust” to your team. He should be coming back in early Feb to spend camp with Seattle

    • John says:

      Perhaps but Dempsey put it in his contract that he would be released for one loan window. Klinsmann wants him to go, so he is going.

      • Travis says:

        I dont have an issue with the loan itself so much as the amount of time. To be blunt he was not very good with the Sounders last year, he needs to spend more than one week training with them before the new season

        • Gary Page says:

          He was injured the first several games and it takes time for players to adjust to new leagues, teammates, and coaches. Tim Cahill for the Red Bulls scored 1 goal in his first 20 games, 8 in his next 20. All you Dempsey bashers, so you think he forgot how to play football in just a few short months? Before Altidore got hot, he was the main goal scorer for the US national team. How soon some forget.

          • John says:

            He probably shouldn’t have played through that shoulder injury. He already had half the league clearly gunning for him. Having to adjust to playing on turf. MLS playing through international windows seemed to have him mad as well. Everyone knew this was in his contract when he signed. This season is going to be start and stop anyway for the World Cup players.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            neither you nor john are contradicting what travis said. deuce hasn’t been good in seattle so far, for a number of reasons. travis thinks dempsey could use more than a week of training with them before the season starts.

          • Brett says:

            I don’t think he forgot, but I think he lost some of his edge when he became a role-player at Spurs and then failed to make any positive impact in the lesser MLS ranks.

            Great players need to play to keep their skills sharp. His got dull and it was plain to see.

            • beachbum says:

              disagree. his skills were fine but he didn’t mesh with new club (no surprise when entering mid-season) and the MLS is MUCH tougher on big name players than most here understand

          • Travis says:

            In my mind you just made my point for me, it takes time to adjust to your new team, time that you should not be spending in europe. Im not a dempsey basher, I spent all last year saying that this year would be the best judge of it because many players struggle joining halfway through. He needs to spend more than a week or two with Seattle. He was not good last year, I thought with a good offseason with Seattle he could really do something this year

            • FulhamDC says:

              He can’t begin training with Fulham until January 1. If, as you say, “it takes time to re-adjust” and he needs to come back to Seattle in early February, than the entire loan move would be pointless. Is that what you want for the Captain of the USMNT – a pointless winter?

              • Travis says:

                Didnt Donovan’s loan only last for a month at Everton? I would hardly call that pointless, he contributed heavily there.

              • FulhamDC says:

                For some reason I cant respond to Travis below. But, no, Donovan’s 2 loans to Everton were both 2 months long. Moreover, you’re stepping on your own point. You claim Dempsey needs more than “a week or two” to “re-adjust” to Seattle, but then claim a one month loan is valuable.

              • Travis says:

                The Fulham loan is a bonus to me, his main adjustment time should be with the team that employs him, not the team he is being loaned to. So if he only spends a month there oh well. Also I dont think that playing in the EPL is critical for his WC prep like some people do, the USMNT is doing just fine using MLS players.

  3. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I don’t know…maybe I’m just over Deuce but this loan deal doesn’t do much for me. Any idea who the other interested teams were/are ?

    • Gary Page says:

      Only rumors/speculation from other websites–Aston Villa, West Ham, Stoke, and Everton were all mentioned.

  4. KenC says:

    I wonder if he’d have gone back for a loan if Jol was still in charge? Remember, Jol thru Clint under the bus, soured the fans on Clint, when he should be a Fulham legend. Interestingly, Tottenham need a finisher, as their problem is they can’t score.

  5. dude says:

    Thank God.

    Playing for Seattle with the price tag, the expectations, the settling- it’s time to get in World Cup mode. Getting back in the EPL for a short time will remind him of the player who had a chip on his shoulder, and wanted to rub shoulders with the best. That’s the man we need in Brazil, and he better find him again.

    • Ian says:

      I wonder if 2 months is enough time for any of that?

    • beachbum says:

      so going on a short term loan puts him in WC mode? lmao

      • dude says:

        It worked for Donovan in 2010. LMAO at your short memory.

        • beachbum says:

          ha! so his loan stint is what set him up for the WC? lmao still dude

          • dude says:

            If you’d like to explain why Donovan’s confidence boosting stint in the EPL, which validated himself in the eyes of the international community and his own fans who thought he couldn’t cut it, then continued that strong form in MLS leading to a very strong World Cup, then by all means, please do that.

            And if you’d like to explain how Dempsey getting back in the environment he thrived will not be a great help in terms of getting back on the right track (given his struggles with Seattle), then please do that.

            LMAO is certainly dismissive, but it’s also a sign that your not really a thinking man.

            • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

              I am so glad that Landon was validated in the eyes of a meaningless and fictitious “community”
              Phew. That is done. I hope that we can do the same for the rest of the Nat team playing in MLS.

              So much validating and so little time.

              • dude says:

                It was important to him. Which is silly, seeing that’s just one of many things that a professional athlete shouldn’t care about. They just think about soccer balls, right?

            • beachbum says:

              Clint going back now on loan after coming into a huge payday in Seattle and then getting hurt and never clicking, versus staying and focusing himself on the new season with his new team as the highest paid player and all of that, and focusing on building the chemistry they lacked last year, and so be in WC mode

              whichever is more prep for Clint the Captain idk, both maybe

              but it’s not a thank God decision. That made me lmao


            • beachbum says:

              on LD, his situation is different than Clint’s. even so, his stint was a good piece but the Galaxy and MLS deserve more credit for prepping guys–and LD–for WC mode and his play that year. that gets dismissed by so many and appeared to be that way with your LD comment, Yes that can make me I laugh, thank God. I see your subsequent comment now too.

              from a non-thinking man, cheers again

              • dude says:

                I give credit to Arena for his handling of Donovan, but it meant a lot to Landon to be able to silence the BS about him not being able to cut it in another league, to say nothing of the experience of being an important piece of a strong EPL run. While I understand the need to have Dempsey gain chemistry with his club, I think getting away from that situation to get his rythmn back in his old haunt against top opposition will be more important. In the long run, Dempsey has forever to integrate himself into the Sounders- him playing in the EPL for a bit, I have no doubt, will alllow him to return with the one thing he really needs- confidence, form, and edge, which, injury or no injury, just wasn’t happening with Seattle.

                To sum it up, to just be able to play again in the EPL without being a figurehead will help him.

                Apologies for the thinking man comment- I got an explanation, which is what I was driving for.

  6. NATO says:

    so he’s likely to have up to 10 games (including FA Cup games)

    whats the amount needed for success?

    5 goals? 5 assists? Saves them from relegation?

    I imagine FOX SPORTS will get a boost in their ratings for Fulham games

    should he have left Fulham? He helped get them into a respectable midteam finishing.

  7. Fred says:

    I would of loved LD at Everton again. With that being said, deuce is going to great at Fulham.
    Fulham to Dempsey is like that ex you hate but still love.
    He’s going to work hard in order to impress. He’s happier in a league like the MLS because his family is closer….can you blame him?

    • Ben says:

      As the sun sets in Seattle a phone rings.
      “Clint….it’s me.”
      “Fulham? Wow…it’s been ages. How have you been?”
      “Oh, you know. Fine, I suppose,” Fulham replies after brushing aside a copy of the Premier League Table and glancing at the pile of empty Carlsburg bottles scattered around the sofa. “And how are you?”
      “Doing great! I’m with Seattle now. They had a big celebration when I arrived. We have loads of fans. If I squint I can almost feel like I’m back in England again. I scored..a goal. Had an assist too! And we won…well, did I tell you about the fans? Really wonderful with the flags and tifos and…”
      “Yeah, you mentioned the fans. Listen, Clint, to be honest, things haven’t gone well for me since you left. I think we were meant to be together! What do you think?”
      “Oh, Fulham, I can’t. What about Seattle? I have a contract.”
      “Then what about tonight? Can I at least see you tonight? It will be just like the old times!”
      “….ok. But, I really do have to be back by March…”

  8. THomas says:

    We desperately need this and a few other permanent moves. COYW!!!!!

  9. Brett says:

    This is absolutely vital to his World Cup form. Don’t get your hopes up about him getting regular minutes in the Prem. any time soon, but he might make some appearances in the cups.

    • Igor says:

      Cause Fulham has so many better players?

      • Reboot says:

        Judging from MLS Clint… yes, many.

        Dejagah, Taarabt, Kasami, Berbatov and Ruiz are all playing at a higher level than Clint has since his Spurs move.

        Darren Bent? Damien Duff? Not so much..

        • FulhamDC says:

          Huh? What Fulham are you watching? Ruiz hasn’t been off the bench in weeks and wants out, Taarabt too. Berbatov has only 1 goal this season that wasn’t a PK and wants out. I know everyone loves to bash Clint’s move to Spurs, but the fact is, when the now unemployed AVB played him, he was good. Clint generated a goal or assist every 120 minutes played, SECOND on the squad behind Bale.

          • Andy in Atlanta says:

            I laugh at the fact that people think Clint has forgotten how to score goals and play footie… the guy was in a rut with Seattle as he adjusted…

            • Warren says:

              Re Seattle, imho it was the other way around, the MLS players not adjusting well to having EPL talent on the field with them.

              Plus Clint’s various injuries – he should have taken more time off after the should injury, but understand why he felt pressure to come back what with the big salary etc.

          • FulhamDC says:

            12 goals (3rd on the team) 6 assists (also 3rd on the team). Defoe had three more goals, but 4 fewer assists, and played about 200 more minutes. Bale led the team in both categories.

  10. Chuck M says:

    Have they seen Clint play since he left there?
    I highly doubt it otherwise they’d be avoiding his calls like the plague.

    • Ian says:

      I think it says more about fan appreciation than anything else. I look at Henry’s Arsenal return the same way. He was playing at a much lower caliber, but he’s a club legend so they had him back – and he scored a goal. Maybe it’s the same for Clint. He’s a Fulham legend and the fans needs a pick-me-up.

      • Warren says:

        Yeah, that’s why Villa, Newcastle, and a couple other EPL clubs were after Clint too.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Ian and Chuck.

        Yikes, just yikes. You guys remind me of the guys that think Clint won’t start next June.

    • Duke says:

      IK its not popular but I agreeing in that I also think he might be on the way to being obsolete. The Clint we saw in MLS was not the Clint Fulham had. Maybe hes been hurt or maybe the fire is just burning low. We’ll have to see if he can return to where he was of if he just cant get to that level anymore.

      I think he’ll probably go to Brazil BUT he should have to win back his position on the NATS from a lot of other guys that want it. If he can’t be a factor at Fulham, I dont think it will help his Brazil cause much.

  11. Pingunça says:

    My money is on Clint showing up. During the two months of his loan Fulham face Arsenal, Man U, Southampton, and Liverpool. and once again the pundits on this site will be scratching their heads.. ala Klinsmann

  12. the original jb says:

    Still haven’t seen this confirmed anywhere else…

    Anyway if it goes through, I think its perfect for Clint. He goes to a place he’s familiar with and a place where he is desperately needed. The table is set for him to be successful and get some form leading into the world cup year. Love it.

  13. Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

    by looking at Fulham’s schedule, Clint’s first Premiership appearance may come on Jan. 11th when they host Sunderland… Should be a must watch for any USMNT supporter.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      I don’t mean to dampen your enthusism, but aren’t they basically tied for last ?

      Opening kick with the Sounders versus KC will be a game that means something and have way more Nat team players playing.

      • Ryan in NYC by way of NC says:

        Uh no – In my opinion a regulation battle means a lot more than the first match of MLS season. Besides, the match is on January 11th… the hell does that have to do w/ MLS’ opening match??

    • Duke says:

      Yeah must watch. We have one forward that cant score and another that’s fighting to become relevant again

  14. Richd D says:

    Anyone know if Sunderland can get Graham Zusi on a short term loan to help out Josie for a couple of months?

  15. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Good. Dempsey seem lazy and fatique with USNT, lately. Maybe, this what Dempsey needs to psyche-himself-up!

  16. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I wish him good luck. But my guess is that his move won’t do him nor Fulham any good. Seems to me that he is likely to be overworked when he returns. Fulham can certainly use him. But he’ll be a target or injuries, and Fulham is losing Berbatov. That doesn’t bode well.

  17. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    Don’t do it Duece, just a rediculous waste of time. Rest and be ready for the Sounders and Nat team.

  18. usaalltheway says:

    Considering how he left and the reaction of Fulham supporters and commenters, is this really a good idea? Will he even play?

    Why play in the MLS to only go right back to where he earned it all in the first place? Money only?

    This is great for Dempsey’s role in the USMNT but I find this to be a huge set up for drama.

    • John says:

      Fulham is in a relegation spot at the moment. Berbatov is trying to leave the team in January. So he’ll play and if he can score a few goals and help them stay up then I’m sure all will be forgetten with the supporters. If it goes badly he leaves in a couple months anyway.

  19. Simpson says:

    I don’t think Clint Dempsey is very good. What’s all the fuss about? He kicks it in the goal every once in a while but really doesn’t do much else.