Jol - Halliche free to leave

Forgotton centre-back could be on his way out of Craven Cottage

Rafik Halliche: Has found first-team opportunites hard to come by since joining Fulham and could be on his way out of the club

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Fulham boss Martin Jol admits he would be willing to let Algerian defender Rafik Halliche leave Craven Cottage before the transfer window closes.

Halliche - who was signed from Benfica in 2010 for £2.5 million - has not featured for Fulham so far this season and has only played two first team games during his time with the London club.

Jol is sympathetic about the 25-year-old's lack of game time and says the centre-back is free to leave should the right opportunity arise.


"With Halliche, he is probably our fifth centre-back so he is in a difficult position," said the Dutchman.

"I feel for him because he played for the reserves when we beat Arsenal and played a terrific match.

"He is a good player, but I can't play five centre-backs. If there is a good opportunity for him, I would like to help him."

Jol says Bjorn Helge Riise, back from a loan spell at Portsmouth, could also depart the club.

He added: "Bjorn was at Portsmouth and came back so we have to wait and see.

"The boy needs to play but I have to find a good club for him that play in a certain style.

"They have to guarantee or promise me that he will be a good part of the squad because otherwise he will stay here."

Meanwhile, Jol has been quick to play down suggestions that Fulham are becoming over reliant on the form of American Clint Dempsey.

The 28-year-old midfielder has been sensational this season, hitting 15 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick in each of Fulham's last two home games.

The first of those trebles came in a 4-0 rout of Charlton in the third round of the FA Cup and, ahead of Friday's trip to Everton in the fourth round, Jol says all good teams need one or two stand-out players.


He said: "It is always great to have players that can make the difference. You will never be a good team without one or two players that can make that difference.

"Even Barcelona would not be without players that can make the difference and Clint does that.

"We have got the quality. We have other players than can score, but I can't deny that Clint has been different class for us this year."