Former Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson signed Brad Jones for £2.3m back in August 2010, and despite the 64-year-old ultimately paying the price for the lack of quality in some of his signings, Jones was a great swoop.
It can only get better for the 30-year-old Australian as well, as he is certain to be named in Kenny Dalglish’s first-team for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Everton.
Becoming an Anfield hero might not be as tough as it once was but if Jones keeps a clean sheet or saves another penalty at Wembley and the red half of Merseyside progress to the final he will be on the fast-track scheme.
Alexander Doni will be ruing his decision to foul Junior Hoilett, receiving a red card, and providing Jones with the chance to save Yakubu’s subsequent spot-kick in Liverpool’s 3-2 victory at Ewood Park.
The Brazilian is unfortunate enough to be behind the ever-reliable Pepe Reina in the pecking order at Anfield and to surrender the chance to impress inside 30 minutes must have left the former Roma keeper pretty low.
But in this case, idiocy has paved the way for romance and the unfinished Jones story is one of the most touching around.
It’s very rare that a broken foot for a club’s second most expensive signing would be turned into a positive, but with the season ticking down Bryan Ruiz’s injury could be a good thing for Fulham.
The Costa Rica international has had flashes of brilliance since landing at Craven Cottage, two wonderfully taken chipped goals the highlights.
But he hasn’t exactly warranted the £10.6million which Martin Jol spent on him, with these goals coming in 30 appearances.
Fulham supporters will be willing to give him time, often players needing a season to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League.
However, it could be that the players who could fill the Ruiz gap could prove to be difference makers next season.
Kerim Frei was superb against Chelsea, the only player in white who wanted to attack the Blues, always looking to beat a man and fashion something out of nothing.
Fulham’s other quick winger who has impressed in a short space of time is Alex Kacaniklic – the Swede’s skill on the ball almost as tricky as pronouncing his surname.
Kacaniklic impressed on loan at Watford and has continued his form in the Premier League, almost scoring against Norwich City and proving fantastic value for someone who came across from Liverpool in a deal that sent Paul Konchesky the other way.
The one worry is that these young stars will be poached by Premier League vultures circling the Cottage.
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