July 16, 2024

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Fulham to battle Brentford for England youth ace Ayoub Assal after Premier League return

3 min read
Fulham to battle Brentford for England youth ace Ayoub Assal after Premier League return

Exclusive:

EXCLUSIVE: Brentford and Fulham are interested in striking a deal for AFC Wimbledon’s England U20 star Ayoub Assal after the Dons were relegated to League Two earlier this month

AFC Wimbledon star Ayoub Assal is attracting interest from Premier League clubs
AFC Wimbledon star Ayoub Assal is attracting interest from Premier League clubs

London rivals Brentford and Fulham are set to lock horns in the race for AFC Wimbledon starlet Ayoub Assal this summer.

The Premier League duo have shown an interest in the Dons winger, 20, who also has Championship suitors, with a clutch of clubs mulling over a potential move for the highly-rated youngster in the wake of Wimbledon’s relegation. The Dons dropped into League Two after enduring a nightmare 27-match winless run and could now lose some of their talented young stars.

Assal – who was called up to train with the England U20 squad earlier this year – is one of Wimbledon’s top homegrown talents and has excelled since being handed a chance in the senior ranks by former Dons head coach Mark Robinson. Assal plundered 8 goals in 42 league games for the Londoners this year and laid on another six assists but was unable to prevent the team from slipping into the fourth tier.

As well as Brentford and Fulham, newly relegated Norwich and Championship sides Blackburn Rovers and QPR are all admirers of Assal, while Barnsley – who have just been relegated to League One – have also shown an interest in the fleet-footed star.

Assal penned a new three-year deal with the Dons after breaking into the first-team fold last summer and has quickly evolved into one of the club’s key players, racking up over 60 appearances in just over 12 months.

Wimbledon would like to keep hold of Assal – who joined the club as a teenager from Millwall and is valued at around £1.5million – to boost their chances of making an instant return to League One under Johnnie Jackson next year. But they could struggle to resist if any serious offers are tabled for the talented youngster.

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Assal bagged eight league goals for the Dons but wasn’t able to keep them in League One
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Image:

Federico Maranesi)

Fulham are in the market for new recruits after returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking, while Brentford are planning for a second year in the top-flight after adapting seamlessly to life amongst England’s elite.

Although Fulham managed to land an instant return to the Premier League, the Whites will have to survive without Fabio Carvalho. The 19-year-old enjoyed a stunning campaign in the Championship, netting 10 goals in and eight assists in 36 league games, but is set to link up with Liverpool ahead of the new season.

The Portuguese starlet saw a January move to Anfield collapse on deadline day, but the Reds have now struck a deal with Fulham that will see the talented teenager join up with Jurgen Klopp’s squad.

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