Fulham attacking midfielder/forward and Costa Rica captain Bryan Ruiz has left the London club for Sporting Lisbon in Portugal on a three-year deal with a £43 million contract buyout clause.
Ruiz, 29, didn’t quite live up to expectations at Craven Cottage after signing for £10.6 million in 2011. He managed to score 12 goals in 84 league appearances as his club fell from the Premier League into the Championship division following the 2013-14 season.
Despite the underachieving, a solid showing this season along with an outstanding display in the 2014 World Cup have shown Sporting enough to purchase Ruiz, who just had his contract extended with Fulham so that they could receive a fee if he were to be sold.
With Ruiz leaving, Fulham will have to look to shore up their attack if they are to make a push toward a return to the top flight of English football. With a few signings made this summer but no real attackers purchased yet, the loss of Ruiz will certainly highlight an area of need for the Cottagers.
Perhaps the loss of Ruiz could open up chances for young players already with the club to leap into more first team action, with the name Moussa Dembele–not to be confused with Moussa Dembele of Tottenham–coming quickly to mind.
One outside option to never rule out is Liverpool’s Rickie Lambert, who has still not been sold from Anfield but is likely to leave.