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Fulham left-back position suddenly scary thin as Riise looks set to depart

John Arne Riise

Fulham’s John Arne Riise plays against Chelsea during their English Premier League soccer match at Craven Cottage, London, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)


In the last 24 hours it appears Fulham will be losing two of their three left backs, and it has become a suddenly paper-thin position.

Yesterday manager Martin Jol told reporters that he was preparing to loan out 22-year-old Matthew Briggs.

Now, reports are suggesting 32-year-old former Liverpool star John Arne Riise will be making his way to German side Werder Bremen.

This leaves injury-prone Kieran Richardson - normally a left midfielder - all by himself on the left defense, a scary thought for Fulham fans who saw him struggle with back and hamstring problems all of last season.

One could assume that Martin Jol, rumored to be following Villa striker Darren Bent, would also have a replacement for the duo in mind.

Riise, a former Champions League winner at Anfield, has made 67 Premier League appearances for Fulham since returning to the Premier League from Roma. He begun his Fulham career bright, and has assisted 10 goals at Craven Cottage, but the blistering free kick that bagged 21 league goals for Liverpool over the years has all but left him, and Riise failed to record a single goal in his time at Fulham.

Riise also has recently changed his number from 3 to 6, a move that he claimed was because he wore 6 at Liverpool and it’s his lucky number. Some, though, were left to speculate that Jol was opening up the 3 for a new left back.

Speculation increased even more as Riise has heavily hinted on Twitter that he will be leaving. Riise, an avid golfer, interspersed his PGA tweets with obvious disappointment after he didn’t see the field during Fulham’s last preseason friendly with Real Betis.

Following the speculation today, Riise clarified that he hasn’t asked to leave Craven Cottage, but the statement “sometimes you can’t control things” left a major question mark whether he will be in white come August 17th season opener.

Fulham fell to Werder Bremen in a preseason friendly in late July by a 1-0 score.

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