Ayite loved his time at Fulham: Thank you for everything

BY YANN TEAR
yann@slpmedia.co.uk­

Floyd Ayite has thanked Fulham for helping him realise a dream to play in the Premier League.

The winger this week ended a three-year association with the club, joining Turkish outfit Gençlerbirliği.

The 30-year-old Togo international scored nine goals in his first season in the Championship following a move from French club Bastia in July 2016, and played a part in the promotion campaign of two seasons ago.

In all, he scored 14 times in 84 appearances, but played only 16 times in the Premier League last term, scoring just once in a 3-1 defeat at Leicester City, and was not in Scott Parker’s early season plans.

The arrival of Anthony Knockaert and Ivan Cavaleiro restricted him to one substitute appearance in the opening day defeat at Barnsley.

Fulham goalkeeper Fabricio Ramirez allows a goal in during a penalty shoot out during the final match between AC Florenz and Fulham of the Cup Of Traditions 2018

However, he offered a happy assessment of his time at Craven Cottage in an Instagram post to fans. He said: “I can’t leave the club without say a proper goodbye … three years that I will never forget – a real pleasure to wear this shirt black and white who means a lot in every sense. But it was the right time for me to get another challenge.

“I have so many memories – specially this day at Wembley when we got promoted. An atmosphere unforgettable and then I realised one of my dreams [to] play in PL so yes thank you for everything.

“I felt really part of this family and I wish all the very best to this team that I am sure will get back to the very top soon.”

Goalkeeper Fabri has also moved on, joining Real Club Deportivo Mallorca until the end of the season.

Mallorca won promotion from the Segunda Division last season, and Fabri joins up with the squad sitting 14th in La Liga after three matches.

The 31-year-old Spaniard cost £5million when he was signed from Besiktas in Turkey last summer – part of the £100million group recruited for the top flight. But he only made two appearances right at the start of the campaign – the opening day defeat to Crystal Palace and the defeat to Spurs at Wembley.

Parker is in the middle of a rare 15-day interlude between matches because of the international break following Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Cardiff City in South Wales.
It gives him the opportunity to reflect on the season’s first salvoes and make early preparations for a lunchtime kick-off against West Brom at Craven Cottage
next Saturday.

But absent from the training ground and on international duty will be Cyrus Christie (Republic of Ireland), Bobby Reid (Jamaica), Stefan Johansen (Norway), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia), Tim Ream (USA) and Marek Rodak (Slovakia).

Steven Sessegnon, who is thought to still be a target for Spurs, who have already recruited twin brother Ryan, is also away with England U21s.

The Whites appeared to be ready to take the Championship by storm following their 4-0 win against Millwall two weeks ago which saw the plaudits showering down on his side, but since then, home defeats to Nottingham Forest in the leagueand Southampton in the League
Cup have put a lid on runaway expectations.

The team’s ability to retain possession has been offset by frustration that much of it has been in their own half of the pitch. Fans voiced their irritation during the defeat to Saints.

Fulham will be without Harry Arter for the visit of Albion, after the midfielder was sent off against the Bluebirds for two yellow cards – the second the result of what was deemed a dive, although Parker said he felt his player had been fouled during the incident.

“Maybe he has gone down a little bit late, but did he get touched? If he did, it’s a foul,” he said. Mitrovic bagged his fifth goal in as many games to cancel out Josh Murphy’s opener at the Cardiff City Stadium.”

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