Fulham manager Martin Jol has revealed he wanted to sign Papiss Cisse before the striker’s move to Newcastle in January.
The Senegal international scored 13 goals in 14 Premier League appearances following his mid-season move from Freiburg as the Magpies narrowly missed out on qualification for the Champions League.
And with his side preparing to face the prolific forward at Craven Cottage on Monday, Jol has spoken of his admiration for the 27-year-old.
“Cisse was always on my list,” he told reporters.
“He made the choice for Newcastle and that was it. Three or four last year were too expensive or stayed and he was one of them.
“He was top scorer in Germany and played for not the biggest club. It’s always a little gamble, as you know. But he came here and he scored some goals for Newcastle. But that’s a fact of life.”
Jol did explain, however, that missing out on targets was common.
“With Dimitar Berbatov it will be the same – Arsene Wenger said the other day he didn’t know that he was on the transfer list,” he said.
“So there will be other clubs thinking: ‘Oh, we could have had him’. That will always happen.”
Fulham have not scored for three consecutive games since their defeat to Sunderland in November, but the Dutchman remains calm about his side’s form.
“We have got very good players,” he said.
“I don’t think it was a big problem before the Sunderland game, so for us failure and success is an unbelievably thin line. Against Sunderland, for example, before Brede Hangeland’s red card, I thought we were the better team.
“It all started on that day and we got injuries to Bryan Ruiz and Alex Kacaniklic so after that we had to change things and I feel we are good enough to come up with a solution.
“We had a loss after that against Stoke, then we had a draw at Chelsea and lost against Spurs so everything happened in two weeks.
“Even in the first half against Spurs we had three or four chances – more chance than they had, more attempts on goal.
“We have to pick up ourselves and pick up some points.”