Fulham formally announce loan deal for Manor Solomon

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Manor Solomon is heading to London to join the newly-promoted Fulham. After winning the Championship title last term, Fulham are back in the Premier League once again. It’s been a rollercoaster ride for the club. They have alternated between seasons in the second and first tiers in the last six seasons.

Survival in the top flight can often hinge on a club bringing in new players to boost the depth and quality of a squad. While the London club have been relatively quiet on that front during the summer, they recently announced that they are finally bringing Manor Solomon to Craven Cottage.

Who is Manor Solomon?

Solomon is an Israeli midfielder whose parent club is Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine. The 23-year-old has been with the Ukraine side since 2019. His deal to go to Fulham is a loan one. Solomon is an attacking player who operates both out wide and centrally.

His preferred role has been on the left wing and is a lively, quick, forward-thinking player. Born in Kfar Saba, Solomon has earned 31 caps for his country after first getting called up to the senior squad in 2018.

The Fulham deal

Premier League club Fulham’s interest in the player was declared a while ago. It’s not been a straightforward process to get Solomon to the club. In fact, they won’t be able to officially register the Israel international until August 1st, 2022.

So the Craven Cottage outfit has to wait to get him on the books. That’s due to a recent change in FIFA rules, which have just held things up in terms of Fulham registering the player. But the deal is set to go ahead, with the player having already arrived in London.

Solomon has agreed to terms with Fulham and moves to Craven Cottage on a one-year loan deal through to June 2023. Solomon is rated around £20 million and will inject a bit of international-level quality into Fulham’s setup.

Manor Solomon and the suspended contract

There was a ruling by FIFA in June 2022 extending the temporary employment rules in regard to the status and transfers of players. This was due to the war in Ukraine. The changes allowed foreign coaches and players to suspend their employment contracts with clubs.

This ruling affected any club from the Ukrainian Association of Football or the Football Union of Russia. Players and coaches at any such club were given the right to suspend their contract if terms with their parent club couldn’t be reached before June 30th, 2022.

The ruling by FIFA was designed to address a couple of key areas. Firstly it helped foreign nationals get out of both Russia and Ukraine by allowing them to seek employment elsewhere. It also meant that players and coaches exercising the right would be able to have access to a salary. The Ukrainian league was shut down earlier this year because of the war.

It’s because of this ruling that Solomon has been able to head to Fulham. He suspended his contract with the parent club Shakhtar Donetsk. But part of the framework of the ruling means that players who fall under this circumstance, cannot be registered until August 1st, 2022. 

Shakhtar Donetsk argument

Shakhtar Donetsk have launched a legal response to the FIFA ruling. They are seeking damages for the loss of transfer fees. The Ukrainian club are looking for £43m worth of damages in an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Their argument is that because of FIFA’s ruling, Ukraine clubs missed the chance of sales of foreign players. Shakhtar Donetsk have seen a handful of foreign players suspend their contracts. That includes Solomon.

The amount in damages that they are seeking, is based on their valuation of how much they could have made from closing transfer deals for an initial four players including Solomon. Solomon stopped a full transfer to Fulham due to the ruling.

Shakhtar stated that the four players immediately pulled out of negotiations for potential transfers and suspended their contracts. The ruling by FIFA came on June 21st. The club only had until June 30th to try and either get sales done or come to an agreement with foreign players.

Players make the easier move

Because of the short timeframe, from a player’s perspective, waiting a week or so to suspend the contract may have been the easier way to get out. As in the case of Solomon, Fulham didn’t have to get into transfer negotiations with Shakhtar. They just had to come to personal terms with the player.

The ruling turned out to be a benefit to clubs receiving players under these circumstances. Clubs didn’t have to come up with transfer fees. For example, Fulham get the player that they want without the risk of having to pay a transfer sum.

At the time that the ruling was announced, Shakhtar Donetsk had fourteen registered foreign players. Players they had hoped to sell.

The sales were planned to help cover some financial losses Shakhtar suffered because of the domestic league having been closed. The Ukrainian league was closed in late April because of the war.

Manor Solomon Returning To Ukraine Next Year?

Fulham’s initial thoughts about the loan deal with Manor Solomon is that the player will be returning to Shakhtar Donetsk next year. That’s down to the terms of the FIFA ruling. Foreign players in Ukraine can only suspend their contracts until June 30th, 2023.

So something at that point will happen. It could be that Fulham are over the moon with the international and then make a bid to sign him permanently from Shakhtar Donetsk, once the suspended contract term has ended.

If not, they can just part ways. Manor Solomon’s contract with Shakhtar Donetsk is set to expire in December 2023.

It could also be that if Fulham suffer relegation from the Premier League, Solomon wouldn’t want to stick around at Craven Cottage. The Cottagers have made it a habit of not surviving a season in the Premier League following promotion from the second tier.

Manor Solomon Settling in at Fulham

But all of that is down the line and Solomon has already stated that he is happy with the deal at Craven Cottage. Even though the registration can’t be done until August, that has not stopped Solomon from getting acquainted with the Premier League squad.

“I’m really happy and delighted to be here at Fulham” Solomon stated. “I can’t wait to feel the special atmosphere at Craven Cottage. There are some great players here and I am determined to help Fulham achieve its goals for the year. I also want to send a big hug to my friends and supporters in Ukraine.”

After passing a medical at Craven Cottage, Solomon has joined Fulham for training sessions ahead of the new Premier League season which starts on August 5th.

Solomon has been on tour with Fulham in Portugal during the pre-season. So it won’t really be a late start for him. He’s had plenty of time to embed himself at the club and to settle in before the long season starts.

Have Fulham done enough in the transfer market?

Fulham manager Marco Silva has not gone on a shopping spree during the summer by any stretch of the imagination. Solomon is just the third new player to arrive at Craven Cottage this summer, following João Palhinha and Andreas Pereira into the club.

So that indicates that Fulham are going to be operating on a budget. That they are not going to throw and risk big money at top-flight survival. That in turn makes sense why they would have been happier at just a loan deal for Solomon instead of a full transfer.

João Palhinha cost them around £20 million from Portuguese club Sporting CP. He is a defensive midfielder that will help to offer the Fulham defence some coverage.

Andreas Pereira moves to London from fellow Premier League club Manchester United for around £10 million. Pereira is more of a central attacking midfielder.

But there have been a couple of departures from Fulham during the summer, and notable ones as well. Fábio Carvalho went for a bargain £5 million to Liverpool, while André Zambo Anguissa moved for a bigger sum of around £15 million to Serie A side Napoli. Midfielder Jean Michaël Seri left on a free transfer as well.

So in the acquisitions, Palhinha and Pereira have been direct replacements for the two big sales that they have had. Will Fulham be dipping into the transfer market again during the summer?

The biggest rumours in the latest sports news regarding transfer have seen them linked with Fulham seeking help in the goalkeeping department.

They have been linked with not only Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno, but Barcelona’s Neto and PSG’s Sergio Rico too. More transfer rumours have Fulham potentially seeking right-back Kevin Mbabu from Bundesliga team Wolfsburg and Crystal Palace’s centre-half Joe Rodon.

Premier League Relegation Odds

Fulham’s Premier League Return

The first of Fulham’s Premier League fixtures in the 2022/23 season is a thankless one at home against last season’s runners-up Liverpool. That’s a tough introduction to the new campaign for Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Fulham have lost three of their last four home Premier League matches against the Reds (D1). The most recent of those was a 1-1 draw in December 2020. Bobby Decordova-Reid had netted the opener for Fulham in the 25th minute.

The Cottagers impressively held out for as long as they could. But a successful penalty kick from Mo Salah in the 79th minute earned the Reds a point.

For a team who are one of the front-runners in Premier League relegation odds, Fulham would probably settle for a point out of the gates in such a tough opener.