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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Blues starlet Kakuta seals Fulham loan

ESPNsoccernet staff

Chelsea forward Gael Kakuta has joined Fulham on loan for the remainder of the season, both clubs have confirmed.

• Van Aanholt joins Leicester

Kakuta, 19, completed his move after passing a medical on Tuesday and the deal was sealed after the squad left London for Wednesday's Premier League game at Liverpool.

The talented French teenager is in line to make his Cottagers debut in next Tuesday's league clash with Newcastle as he is cup-tied for this Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round visit of Tottenham.

Fulham boss Mark Hughes last week revealed his interest in Kakuta, who signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract at Chelsea last month.

Hughes, who was also eyeing Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips, said on Friday: "He's a player I know and I like the qualities he has.''

He becomes Hughes' second January signing following the permanent capture of Steve Sidwell from Aston Villa.

France Under-20 international Kakuta was widely regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the game when he joined Chelsea from Lens in 2007. He has made 16 appearances for the Blues but only five starts and was an unused substitute in Monday night's 4-0 win at Bolton.

He was at the centre of a major row in 2009 when he was accused of breaking his contract with Lens in order to join Chelsea. He was subsequently banned for four months and given a fine of more than 670,000 by FIFA.

Chelsea were also fined and banned from any activity during two transfer windows, but the club appealed, claiming Kakuta did not have a valid contract with Lens. The sanctions were lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in February last year.

Kakuta has played for France at every level from Under-16 to Under-20 and in December 2009, aged 18, became the youngest ever player to represent Chelsea in the Champions League.

That came after he suffered a fractured ankle which had kept him out of action for six months.

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