Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Misfit Marlet out of Tune with Marseille

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Misfit Marlet out of Tune with Marseille

Article excerpt


FULHAM may be forced to welcome back Steve Marlet after loan club Marseille expressed doubts about the striker. The French club, who face Liverpool in a UEFA Cup fourth-round tie at Anfield tonight, insist the 29-yearold still has to prove himself before they try to sign him on a permanent deal or extend his loan spell, which runs out in the summer.

"Steve has been injured and he has found it difficult to complete games," Marseille coach Jose Anigo said today. "Now he is getting back to full fitness, we can judge him properly.

But we will wait until the end of the season before deciding who is coming and who is going from the club."

Marlet fell out with Fulham by insisting he wanted to return to his native France to help his chances of being selected for Euro 2004.

But since arriving in Marseille, the powerful striker has scored only five goals and missed three months at the turn of the year with an ankle injury.

Anigo is likely to play Marlet in midfield or even leave him on the bench tonight, and he admits the jury is still out on the player Jean Tigana brought to Fulham for a club record [pounds sterling]11.5million in 2001.

"It is tough to judge Steve," Anigo added. "He has only been back a month after his injury and hasn't been 100 per cent until now.

"We have 11 league games left and the UEFA cup also has a reputation for saving seasons, so we shall see."

Marlet's future could ultimately depend on whether Marseille qualify for the Champions League. They are sixth in the French League, eight points adrift of a Champions League spot. If they don't make it, there is little chance of them being able to meet Fulham's asking price.

Marlet kept his counsel after training at Anfield last night with his team-mates, who include former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. …

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