The Championship is a weird league, one season you can be in the playoffs the next a relegation battle. On the back of Fulhams best season since being relegated there is almost an element of uncertainty around Craven Cottage. Some of out best players may be leaving the club and the manager is being eyed up by some Premier League teams. Here is what Fulham need to make sure they do before next seasons kick off.
Keep Slavisa Jokanovic whatever the cost
Jokanovic has been the main reason for Fulhams success I think it is fair to say. The Serbian has brought a possession-based style that has torn the Championships best teams apart time and time again, keeping him needs to be Shahid Khans number one priority, he is the key to getting Fulham promoted. Fulham led the league in so many of the stat columns last year and it is because of the football Jokanovic has them playing.
Sell a player for a club record fee
As much as Fulham fans hate to admit it, Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon could both be out of the door at Craven Cottage before the season starts. If this is to be the case we need to make sure that we get what we deserve for these superb talents. Our current record sale is 15 million pounds with Mousa Dembele going to Tottenham. Both Cairney and Sessegnon should demand a higher fee than that in this market. Cairney is a 20 million pound player and we deserve a fee like that if we are going to lose him. Sessegnon, on the other hand, has the World at his feet, turning 17 only last month he is the hottest young property in English football and with Real Madrid paying £38 million for a 16-year-old who has never played a professional club game. Who knows how much we are due for Sessegnon. We have to get at least £20 million for Sessegnon but it should be much more than that when looking at the Vinicius Junior transfer.
Bring in Tomas Kalas on a permanent deal
As much as I hated Tomas Kalas for giving away that unnecessary penalty in the playoffs against Reading I still think he has been the best centre-back we have had since Brede Hangeland. He has made it clear that he would like to move to us permanently and he wouldn’t be too expensive for the quality that he brings. Kalas alongside Ream was a formidable defensive partnership towards the end of last season and long may it continue.
Clear out the deadwood on high wages
Returning from loan after the end of last season were Jozabed and Richard Stearman. Jozabed just isn’t suited for this league and obviously hasn’t settled in England. His wages are quite high as well and if we can get a decent transfer fee for him it would be a bonus. Stearman, on the other hand, is on way too high wages and is not good enough for this squad. After a disastrous first season at Fulham, he was sent back to Wolves on loan where he continued is poor form leading to Wolves not activating their option to buy at the end of the load and sending him and his hefty wages right back to us. Finding a club for Stearman may be the biggest issue here but freeing up those wages is incredibly important. Scott Parker doesn’t play as much nowadays and is currently in negotiations with the club about his contract. We should give him a new contract if we can slash his wages significantly, if not let him go or offer him a coaching role.
Sign a striker
As of right this second the only out and out senior strikers on Fulhams books are Cauley Woodrow and Stephen Humphrys. Both players lack experience and couldn’t lead the line in a promotion chase. With Chris Martin and Cyriac both going back to their parent clubs Jokanovic can begin his search for someone to lead his line next year. Fulham had previously been linked with Emmanuel Emenike who’s wages would be huge, and his recent form has not signified that he would be worth it. Fulham were the highest scoring team in the league last year even though our top league goal scorer only got 12 goals so goals can be spread out through the team. Therefore I would like to see us go for a striker who can create as well as they can finish.
Sign backup midfielders
I wouldn’t change a thing about our starting midfield however we do need backups. The aforementioned Scott Parker situation is still unsure and Ryan Tunnicliffe has left the club. Lasse Vigen Christensen will be a good backup next season but we need to get some more backups if Jozabed stays he could definitely do a job but that looks unlikely. Last season we were brilliant at bringing in unknown players who have done brilliantly with Ayite and Kebano both being fantastic and I would like to see that done again this season for the midfield.
What do you think Fulham need to do this transfer window in order to gain promotion next year? Feel free to comment or tweet me about it. If you enjoyed you can follow my blog and like this post.