Danny Murphy's comments about Fulham struggling this season is a result of them selling their best players has some truth behind it, but I don't think selling players is the be all and end all for the side.
Let's go back to the end of the summer transfer window - Fulham had brought in eleven new faces while losing Scott Malone to Huddersfield and Sone Aluko to Reading, but had done extremely well to tie Tom Cairney down to a new deal while Ryan Sessegnon, and twin Steven, signed their first pro deals.
On the face of it, it looked like a good window - I'll happily admit I thought Tony Khan and the recruitment team had done a good job when the window closed, in fact, you can read why I thought that at the time right here .
I'm a fan of using stats in football and using them to gain an advantage in the transfer window, teams like Brentford and Brighton have used them to great effect in the past and I don't see why Fulham should be any different.
Now, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that the model the club used was slightly flawed - as I've said previously, any model that reportedly doesn't want to sign Andreas Pereira or Aaron Mooy has something wrong with it.
Murphy has said that "They [Fulham] have now got themselves in a real pickle because parachute payments are dwindling, they are struggling to make an impact because a couple of their best players have gone."
Firstly, Fulham didn't sell their best players.
Cairney and Kevin McDonald are still at the club, while the future of one of the best players in a generation was secured for the next three years.
What they did do was sell Malone, who had the season of his life at left back to a Premier League club, one he wanted to go to, and offload a 28-year-old for around £7.5million more than what they got him for the season before.
On the face of it, that's pretty good business.
Here's where it went a bit pear shaped for Fulham - the players brought in to replace those two key members of Slavisa Jokanovic's squad weren't of the same mould.
Teams lose players all the time - I hate to keep bringing it back to Brentford, especially after Saturday, but you have to admire the way they do business.
They have one of the smallest transfer budgets in the league, they lose their best players every year, and yet they continue to improve.
They recruit players that fit into the way the side plays football - philosophy is huge at Griffin Park and every footballer they sign must fit the philosophy of the football club, amongst other things that would take a good while to go through.
That didn't happen at Craven Cottage this summer and now, in December, it looks like the players brought in were signed because their stats made them a target, without any real thought as to how they would fit in with Fulham's philosophy.
That's where Jokanovic comes into it, we know he is the Head Coach and doesn't have too much say on transfers, but he wants Fulham to play a certain style of football and there is no point brining in people who don't fit that.
Him and Kline didn't get on, but now the American is gone we will hopefully see more of a willingness from the boss to get involved in the transfer department - he may not get the players he wants, but he'll get players the stats says are good that will fit into his formation.
Let's bring it back to Murphy and his comments, yes Fulham sold key players, yes they're struggling at the moment, but to pin that down to a smaller budget is nonsense in my eyes.
Fulham are struggling because of the following reasons:
- Teams have figured them out and the side have been slow to adapt to that
- Injuries to key personnel have taken their toll, something which didn't happen last season
- They don't miss Malone and Aluko as individuals, they miss players that can play in those positions that play a similar style
- There's still no goalscorer and Fulham's huge haul of goals last season made signing one less of a priority than it perhaps should've been
It's always easy to blame a poor run of transfer business and selling players like Aluko and Malone, as I've heard people say, when in reality, those players haven't really pulled up any trees since leaving - it's all about who comes in to replace them.
The January Transfer Window opens in 24 days, mistakes have been made but those can be corrected next month.