I’ve already written about who newly-promoted Leeds and West Brom need to sign, so now it’s time to analyze Fulham. Fulham earned promotion after finishing fourth in the Championship before winning the playoff. The Cottagers beat Brentford in the final thanks to a brace from wingback Joe Bryan, which means that they have returned to the Premier League. If Fulham are to stay in the Premier League, they’ll need smarter spending than they did in the 2018/19 season, which saw Fulham spend millions and get relegated. So, who are some cheap options that can help Fulham avoid relegation from the Premier League?
Before being bought this Summer, Ryan Sessegnon was one of Fulham’s biggest stars. He burst on to the scene aged just 17 in the Championship, scoring an incredible 15 goals with six assists. After helping the Cottagers earn promotion, he was a sole bright spot as Fulham finished 19th. Sessegnon was bought by Tottenham in the summer, but has played just six Premier League games for the Hotspurs.
Fulham are reportedly chasing Sessegnon on loan, which would be a great move for everyone. Tottenham would allow Sessegnon develop, Fulham would have their best player back (even for just one season), and Sessegnon would have first team action. The best thing Fulham can do this summer is to get Sessegnon back, and to try to get an option to buy him permanently.
Fulham are chasing several wingers not named Sessegnon, however. The main target of Fulham is 26-year old Ryan Fraser, who is a free agent after letting his contract with Bournemouth expire. Fraser does have high wage demands, but is proven in the Premier League and had been linked to Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham. However, Fraser is not well liked after forcing his way out of Bournemouth and is arguably the reason for the club’s relegation.
A less controversial option, Brentford winger Saïd Benrahma is being pursued by almost every team in the Premier League. It might be tricky to convince the talented winger to join the London rivals who kept his club from the Premier League, but Benrahma would receive significant playing time at Fulham. If Benrahma were to turn Fulham down, Liverpool are looking to sell young winger Harry Wilson. Wilson also has Premier League experience and would be a great option for the Cottagers.
Another target position is center back, with Chelsea youngster Ethan Ampadu being named as an ideal target. Ampadu would be a loan signing, so Fulham might want a permanent signing as well. They could hijack Sheffield United’s bid for free agent Abdul Mumin, but the better choice would be Arsenal target and free agent Malang Sarr, a center back who could be persuaded to sign with Fulham. Sarr is just 21 and is a highly rated free agent. Fulham have an incredibly rich owner in Shahid Khan, and Khan could help Fulham meet Sarr’s wage demands. If Sarr joined Fulham, the Cottagers would practically be guaranteed safety from the relegation battle.
If Fulham are able to spend well, unlike two seasons ago, the Cottagers could have a successful season and eventually make Fulham a constant in the Premier League. Just 10 years ago, Fulham were in the Europa League final. Signing Sessegnon, Sarr, and Benrahma is the first step for Fulham to not only stay in England’s top flight, but to compete in Europe once more.
Image courtesy of Steffen Prößdorf / CC BY-SA.
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