Fulham boss Martin Jol believes his side would be sitting comfortably in the top 10 of the Premier League if Clint Dempsey had not left the club for Tottenham.
The United States international scored 60 goals in 224 appearances for the Cottagers but joined Spurs at the end of August, while Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembele also moved to White Hart Lane in the same month.
Jol has admitted that his side has struggled without the pair, suggesting that the club would be set for a place in the top half of the table if he still had Dempsey at his disposal.
"Clint Dempsey always made the difference," Jol told reporters. "I feel if Clint Dempsey hadn't been here over the last three or four years, we could've ended up with a real problem. Our strikers never used to score a lot of goals. Now I think we're fine, but we don't have Clint. If Clint had stayed I think we would've been in the top 10."
Only seven teams in the Premier League have scored more goals than Fulham's 36 this season, but Jol believes that he is not getting the same late-game presence and timely goals that Fulham had when Dempsey was a Cottager.
"I feel we will score more goals than before, but we need the important and vital goals. Clint Dempsey scored all our winners last year," Jol said. "We sold our top scorer and he [Dempsey] was the top scorer for a couple of years. Last year he scored more goals than any year before - and Dembele was my best player, arguably. We had to build a new team. If everyone is fit I still feel we're not far from the quality we had last year."