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Roy Hodgson gamble on David Elm paying off

last updated Wednesday 10th February 2010, 1:21 PM
Fulham striker David Elm
Fulham striker
David Elm
David Elm
Roy Hodgson gamble on David Elm paying off When Roy Hodgson failed to sign Sweden international Rasmus Elm last summer, he decided to gamble £500,000 on the midfielder's brother, David.

It may turn out to be one of the bargains of the season, as Elm impressed in his first Premier League start at Bolton on Saturday and was even better last night, setting up one goal for Danny Murphy and scoring another.

The 27-year-old striker was brought from Swedish league champions Kalmar FF as an understudy for Bobby Zamora and although he initially found it hard to adapt to English football, he hopes to win an extension to his one-year contract.

He said: "It has been difficult coming from Sweden to the Premier League. There is a big difference in the tempo of the game here and it is more aggressive but I have been patient and I took my chance when I got it against Burnley.

"Fulham told me before I joined that I was an interesting player and it would be exciting to see if I could make the step. I knew it was going to be tough but I never had any second thoughts. I love it here. The dream scenario is that I can get a lot of time playing here."

Elm is desperate to emulate brothers Rasmus, 21, and Viktor, 24, by playing for Sweden.

Impressing with Fulham will help him achieve that goal and he has certainly made an impression on Hodgson.

The Fulham boss said: "At the time David came in, we had quite a lot of forward players but he's moved very quickly up the pecking order and he's shown that he deserves to be there. He's probably the least-famous of the three brothers.

"Rasmus was the one who had attracted the most attention, both ourselves and Everton were very keen to sign him. He eventually chose to go to AZ Alkmaar. Viktor was already at Heerenveen and I don't think David was really expecting a foreign club to come in for him.

"Luckily I have some contacts in Sweden, everyone spoke very well of him and I must say he's been a bit of a revelation."

Elm has got his chance as a result of long-term injuries to Andy Johnson and Clint Dempsey and because Seol Ki-Hyeon and Diomansy Kamara have been allowed to go elsewhere.

Playing alongside Zamora, Elm was instrumental in Fulham's opening goal against struggling Burnley after 23 minutes when he touched on Nicky Shorey's deep cross for Danny Murphy to beat goalkeeper Brian Jensen from close range.

Seven minutes later, Jensen could only parry Zamora's low curling shot into the path of Elm, who could not miss from four yards out.

Zamora himself sealed the win in the 53rd minute with a low free-kick from just outside the penalty area.

Source David Smith at Evening Standard
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