Mourinho’s man and Bayern ace; Fulham’s 5 most likely signings this month
When asked last weekend if he thought Fulham were “ready” for the Premier League’s big kick-off, head coach Marco Silva said what everyone in this corner particular from West London thought after a rather rollercoaster window.
“No. We as a team are not ready” Silva sighed. “I want to be clear with you; Now we have 16 senior players in our squad. No one competes at this level with 16 senior players in your team.
“I’m really happy with this group of players we have. But anyone who understands football can see that we need at least five or six more players.”
A repeat of 2020, when Fulham made a flurry of signings late in the window after losing their first four top-flight games, seems entirely possible. But at least some moves are underway, albeit belatedly.
Here are five players Fulham could – or possibly should – sign before the end of the month.
Justin Kluivert – Roma
There’s a chance a spring-heeled winger labeled Europe’s most exciting young talent in 2018 – yes, ahead of Gigi Donnarumma, Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho – will officially be a Fulham player before Saturday’s curtain raiser with Liverpool. Pretty good luck for that.
Kluivert, 23, is clamoring for a fresh start after falling out of favor under Jose Mourinho at Roma. And, according to TutomercatowebFulham are now ‘very close’ to completing a £9million cut-price deal.
The former Ajax wonderkid, once compared to Neymar due to his sparkling footwork and eye for goal, could make up for losing Harry Wilson to injury.
Joshua Zirkzee -Bayern Munich
Comparisons can certainly be made between Kluivert and Zirkzee; Two players who burst onto the scene as teenagers at a European giant, only to fall short of those now very high standards over the next two seasons.
Zirkzee has, at least, breathed new life into his poor reputation on loan at Anderlecht, scoring 18 times under Vincent Kompany last season.
Labeled ‘lethal’ by Joshua Kimmich and ‘crazy’ talented by Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich won’t stand in the way of Zirkzee as Fulham open talks over a potential £10m deal.
According The standardEverton’s sole target prefers Cottagers to Southampton and Bournemouth.
Nat Phillips –Liverpool
According Athleticism, Fulham had offers on the table for no less than four centre-backs at the start of August. One of them, Chelsea’s Malang Sarr, now appears to be on his way to Monaco. Issa Diop, meanwhile, could be stuck at West Ham for the time being after Nayef Aguerd underwent surgery following an ankle injury.
But Liverpool’s Nat Phillips at least feels attainable.
Jurgen Klopp is not one to keep a rarely seen player against his will. And Phillips – who played just one senior game for the Reds last season and marked it with a Cruyff turn that left Zlatan Ibrahimovic bamboozled – has spoken openly about his desire to play regular Premier League football at the age of 25.
According ObjectiveFulham will face competition from Phillips’ former employers Bournemouth.
That seems like a rather odd complaint to make. Especially since Aleksandr Mitrovic scored 43 times last season. But the lack of goals elsewhere in Marco Silva’s squad is a real cause for concern. Last season’s second top scorer, Fabio Carvalho, is now at Liverpool. Wilson, meanwhile, is out of action at the moment.
The £18million-rated Ajorca – scouted by Fulham during the week, according to sky sports — would therefore lighten the burden on Mitrovic’s broad shoulders. At 6ft 6in, the addition of another old-school target would allow Silva to rest his Serbian talisman without having to drastically alter Fulham’s game plan.
Issa Diop – West Ham United
Yes, as we pointed out earlier, talks between Fulham and West Ham broke down following Aguerd’s injury a few weeks ago. But the Morocco international is only expected to miss the first weeks of the new season, meaning a deal for Diop could be revisited late in the window.
According FootMercato, Fulham have already agreed terms with Diop. The former Toulouse captain would likely take Tim Ream’s place as a left-back centre-half at Craven Cottage.
In other news, Arsenal’s £25m target agent set for further talks in rejected bid from Man Utd