Thursday 01 August 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Fulham pulled off one of the summer's biggest transfer coups by signing Juventus goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
"At Ajax, Juventus and with Holland I have played with top teams, and now I want to use my experience to reach the same goal with Fulham"
Edwin van der Sar
The Dutchman, a five-time Dutch Eredivisie title-winner at Ajax, had helped Juve finish runners-up in Serie A during his two years with the Bianconeri, but decided to move on after La Vecchia Signora bought Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for a world-record fee.
But Jean Tigana pulled off a major surprise by persuading the Netherlands' first-choice shot-stopper to join a club that had only just earned promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
"I spoke with the manager about the way he wants to play," said the 30-year-old, who had been capped 44 times by his country. "Jean Tigana wants to go straight to the top with Fulham and I like that ambition. At Ajax, Juventus and with Holland I have played with top teams, and now I want to use my experience to reach the same goal with Fulham."
Tigana said: "We are delighted to welcome Edwin to Fulham. His ability has been proven at the highest level both domestically and internationally and he will be an asset to the squad."
Van der Sar helped Fulham finish in 13th place in the table in their first season back in the top tier and during his four years at Craven Cottage and 127 Barclays Premier League appearances, the west London side achieved consistent mid-table finishes.
Such were the quality of his performances that Sir Alex Ferguson came calling in 2005 and Van der Sar enjoyed six successful seasons at Old Trafford, making 186 top-flight appearances, winning four Barclays Premier league titles, two League Cups and the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League.