On the one hand, Fulham are thrilled Rodrigo Muniz is suddenly scoring. On the other, they face a dilemma over what to do with Armando Broja, the striker who joined on loan from Chelsea on deadline day.
Fulham’s agreement with Chelsea is unusual in that the more matches Broja starts, the less he will cost.
Fulham are covering his wages whatever happens but Mail Sport understands they will not have to pay the full £4million fee if the Albanian (right), 22, starts 60 per cent of their games — a threshold which can only be met if he lines up in nine of their remaining 14 Premier League fixtures, after starting this win over Bournemouth on the bench.
Described as a ‘pay-as-you-don’t-play’ deal, Chelsea agreed to this abnormal set-up because they want Broja playing and scoring, so they can get close to their £50m valuation if they sell him in the summer. As a homegrown asset, he would represent pure profit. Yet Muniz, 22, is complicating this masterplan.
The Brazilian, who signed for Fulham from Flamengo in 2021 and spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, had never scored in the Premier League.
Since Broja’s signing, though, he has helped himself to three goals in a week.
Not to mention the part he played in setting up Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s opener inside six minutes here. Muniz is making it difficult for Marco Silva to drop him with Aston Villa to follow at Craven Cottage on Saturday.
Fulham’s manager claimed he does not know the details of Broja’s deal and insisted he will pick his team based on performances. If that is the case, Muniz should start against Villa.
Silva said about the Chelsea loanee being a substitute for a second successive week as cited by Sports Central: ‘I had a conversation with him (Broja) about the situation. ‘We believe in him. He knows that when you are in the Premier League, there is competition for places. ‘He arrived a day before the Burnley game (on February 3). The striker who played (Muniz) scored an important goal. It doesn’t matter if he is on a contract or if he is on loan. ‘Football players are not stupid. They can understand decisions. One way to deal with the situation is to work hard and show they are better than the other.’