What Could Go Wrong? Fulham 18/19 Season Preview

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Fulham are back in the Premier League after winning promotion through the Championship play-off. They weren’t quiet about their return to the Premier League during the summer transfer window, but will it be enough?

Who’s In?

  • Jean Michael Seri — 26 — Central Midfielder — OGC Nice — $31.1M
  • Andre Zambo Anguissa — 22 — Defensive Midfielder — Marseille — $31.1M
  • Aleksander Mitrovic — 23 — Center Forward — Newcastle, $20.9M
  • Alfie Mawson — 24 — Center Back — Swansea — $17.5M
  • Joe Bryan — 24 — Leftback — Bristol City — $6.9M (nice)
  • Fabri — 30 — Goalkeeper — Besiktas — $6.2M
  • Maxime Le Marchand, 28, Center Back — OGC Nice — $4.1M
  • Andre Schurrle — 27 — Left Winger — Borussia Dortmund, Loan ($410K)
  • Calum Chambers — 23 — Center Back — Arsenal — Loan
  • Luciano Vietto — 24 — Center Forward — Atletico Madrid — Loan
  • Sergio Rico — 24 — Goalkeeper — Sevilla FC — Loan
  • Tim Fosu-Mensah — 20 — Rightback — Manchester United — Loan
  • Sorry — this got long. I’ll talk about the problem with that later … keep scrolling.

Who’s Out?

  • David Button — 29 — Goalkeeper — Brighton — $6.7M
  • George Williams — 22 — Attacking Midfielder — Forest Green — Free
  • Ryan Fredericks — 25 — Rightback — West Ham — Free
  • Tayo Edun — 20 — Defensive Midfielder — Ipswich Town — Loan

European Chances

Jean-michael-seri-fulham

Fulham won promotion by beating Aston Villa in the play-off final. They started to dominate the Championship near the end of the season when they went on a 23-game unbeaten run. Now, Fulham are back in the Premier League and have lofty ambitions to stay right where they are.

They approached this offseason by spending huge money — $125 to be exact. They brought in midfielder Jean Michael Seri who has been linked to Top 6 sides, Andre Zambo Anguissa from French side Marseille, and Andre Schurrle on loan from Borussia Dortmund. 

Fulham will introduce proven European talent to the squad this year to establish their position in the Prem. They have no interest in going down and collecting parachute payments like other clubs — cough, cough, Cardiff, cough. 

The top half of the table is a reasonable shout for Fulham but I don’t think they get near a European position.

When Will Your Manager Be Fired

slavisa-jokanovic-fulham

How in the hell is this Slaviša Jokanović guy going to get 12 new players on board? Okay, Aleksander Mitrovic arrived in January, but damn. You flipped the dressing room upside down and basically placed landmines with potential chemistry issues between every locker. We now go live to the Fulham dressing room:

Calum Chambers: “Here my boots, mate.”

Tim Ream: “Wha

Chambers: “Arches a bit high. Got anything flatter? Dogs are barking.”

Ream: “Um…”

Chambers: “On second thought, don’t worry ’bout it, mate. I got these boots leftover from Arsenal. Kits fit great, tho!”

Ream: “Calum, I’m your center-back

Chambers: “Still here? I’m about to jump in the shower, gonna follow me in there, too?”

Ream: “Partner… *sigh*”

Poor Timmy. Jokanović has been at Fulham since 2015, which makes him the third-longest tenured manager for a club in the Premier League. [Quick pause to double check … yeah, he is. Wow.]

Unfortunately, when things go sideways for a newly promoted team that just spent $125 million on new players, the blame goes to the manager.

Fulham also have a stretch with Chelsea, Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City in March that could be tough to get any points from. That leaves them with six games to fight for survival and luckily, they’re the easiest among clubs Outside the Top 6. Hopefully, Jokanović is there to lead them through.

Which Player Will A Bigger Club Poach?

Fulham v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet Championship - Craven Cottage

Ryan Sessegnon is an 18-year-old left-sided winger who used to play left back, and now he’s destroying grown men. He’s got a powerful left foot to swing in crosses and create net-stretching goals.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sessegnon struggle to find his rhythm to begin the season and articles will be written about “England’s Youngest Hope Flops.” Of course, all that will be bullshit and he’ll find his way by January. Hopefully, Fulham isn’t too far down the table at that point.

Unknown to Household

Fulham captain Tom Cairney is that exact mold for what you want from a midfielder who patrols the game. He battled knee issues last season to produce six goals and five assists, including the winner in the promotion play-off final that brought his club up — a dream scenario for any Championship captain.

Cairney had double-digit goals and assists two seasons ago and I don’t think he’s far from that form. He’s a hard-nosed tackler who can control the tempo of the game while play-makers fly and dance with the ball around him.

Although Fulham bought Seri and Andre Zambo Anguissa to play midfield for a combined $62M, I think it’s going to be hard to leave Captain Cairney out of the lineup. 

Relegation Odds

2/1 – Thought they would be closer to safety but the oddsmakers are not impressed with what they did this summer. Still, they’re ahead of Brighton, Watford, Huddersfield and Cardiff.

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