Injury blow for Berbatov
Martin Jol is delighted by the way Dimitar Berbatov has started life at Fulham - but will have to do without the striker when Manchester City come to Craven Cottage.
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9. Dimitar Berbatov
The Bulgarian represents a coup for Fulham, who saw off competition from Serie A giants Juventus and Fiorentina to sign him on transfer-deadline day.
Berbatov has shone in his first two-and-a-half appearances for Fulham and netted twice as they saw off West Brom 3-0 in their last home game.
The 31-year-old was set for another starring role against Roberto Mancini's City on Saturday but will miss the match - and the next two weeks - through injury.
"I was very pleased [with his impact] because we were worried because we lost our quality in midfield and that was probably our biggest quality," Fulham manager Jol said, referring to the recent departures of Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele.
"We had one that scored the goals and one that was good on the ball and then he came and he almost filled two positions in one.
"He was a number nine but he played in a number 10 role so for us it was quite good that he was there, but he is injured now and can't play tomorrow so that is a big disappointing thing. He will be out for the next two weeks.
"Berbatov looked good in the training session as usual and then the final shot [of the session] he felt something and he had to go in and stop training.
"It appears he has not got a tear but a problem with his hip, upper thigh so we couldn't take the risk to involve him tomorrow."
Berbatov will not be the only player to miss the game, with Kieran Richardson, Ashkan Dejagah and Philippe Senderos all not quite ready to feature after injury.
Mahamadou Diarra is another out of the reckoning for the Cottagers but there has been some good news on his fitness this week.
It had been feared the Malian could be ruled out for the majority of the season but surgery shows an injury to his left knee is not as bad as it was feared.
"Diarra had a minor operation but he will still be out for the next four weeks at least," Jol said.
"They removed a few little pieces of bone from his knee but that was it so that was pleasing.
"There was not a lot of damage so they had a look in his knee and that was it.
"The first option was to have a look and hope it was not that bad and it wasn't.
"If there would have been more damage with his cruciate or his ligaments, then he could have been out for more but it is exactly what we thought it was but it is still four weeks."
Despite good news on the Diarra front, Jol admits he is planning to bring in a free agent this week to bolster his midfield.
Owen Hargreaves and Nigel Reo-Coker are amongst those to have been linked to Fulham but the Dutchman swiftly ruled them out, revealing instead the player he plans to sign is a defensive midfielder from overseas.
"We are trying to do something in the next couple of days but not with the players you mentioned," he said.
"It will be a central midfielder. We have to go abroad and we have to test him to see of if he is 100 per cent fit and we will talk to him. We hope to get it done next week."