Steve Sidwell has revealed his relief at finally becoming a Fulham player as he prepares for what could be his full debut against Liverpool.
Sidwell is in line to replace Dickson Etuhu for the Barclays Premier League game at Anfield, should his fellow midfielder fail to recover from injury, having filled in for him for the final 27 minutes of Saturday's 2-0 win over Stoke.
Former Chelsea and Reading playmaker Sidwell's move from Aston Villa to Craven Cottage became a real saga, with the 28-year-old having looked set to join them last summer. The move broke down after Roy Hodgson quit Fulham to take charge at Liverpool, while the arrival of Gerard Houllier at Villa gave Sidwell a chance to resurrect his career in the midlands.
After a brief run in the side, he was back on the fringes and looked certain to join West Ham earlier this month before a last-minute snag saw the move collapse. Talks with Wolves quickly followed before new Fulham boss Mark Hughes finally picked up where his predecessor had left off.
Sidwell told his new club's official website, www.fulhamfc.com: "The move was a long time coming really, because I was hoping to come here in the summer, but for a few reasons it didn't happen. A fee was agreed but, when Roy Hodgson left, suddenly everything was a bit up in the air. That's what happens when you get a change of personnel.
"I got my head down though and kept my fingers crossed that something would happen in the future - which it did. I'm really pleased that it was something that the club looked at again and I'm delighted to finally be a Fulham player."