Ex-Fulham boss Coleman: Dempsey good enough for Champions League

The Welsh manager signed the USA international in 2007 and has praised the forward for his swift adaptation to the Premier League
By Alex Labidou

Chris Coleman believes Fulham forward Clint Dempsey has the potential to play for a side that is challenging for a Champions League place.

The USA international was a target for Arsenal last summer but Martin Jol has been keen to tie the forward to a long-term deal at Craven Cottage.

Coleman signed Dempsey during his stint as Fulham boss in 2007, and the Wales manager insists the 29-year-old would have no problems fitting in with a side that is contending for a spot in Europe.

"He believes it now and he knows he has what it takes to play at that level," Coleman explained to Goal.com from the New York area, where Wales will play Mexico in a friendly on May 27.

"Fulham are a mid-table team and has been that way for almost the past 10 years. There are probably four teams that are bigger than Fulham that are outside of that top four or five [that would be a good fit]."

Clint Dempsey is 5/1 with William Hill to score the first goal in Fulham's Premier League clash with Norwich on Saturday.

Coleman also praised Dempsey for his swift adaptation to the Premier League following his arrival from MLS side New England Revolution.

"He had a real good appetite for football. A good hunger, he was brave. He wanted to take the ball all of the time," Coleman recalls.

"As I remember, the team that he was playing with during the game wasn't doing very well but he always wanted the ball. That's bravery for me when players are like that. You could see that his technique and awareness were very good."