With Fulham kicking off their season next Friday, the transfer rumour mill has started to hit top speed, with Fulham reportedly close to several deals.
Last week, reports in Spain suggested that Segunda side, Real Murcia had agreed a fee with an un-named Championship side for midfielder, Eddy Silvestre. In the last 24 hours, it has emerged that Fulham are the side in question and that a €400,000 deal has been agreed with the player expected to travel to London shortly for a medical and to discuss personal terms.
The Azerbaijani midfielder is an unknown talent in world football, so should arrive at the club without any pressure or reputation, something that will probably aid his development. After speaking to a few journalists that cover Spanish football in a bit more depth, Eddy Silvestre seems like a gamble. While, many say he has all the qualities to succeed, many suggest that he is quite the mercurial talent and hasn’t consistently delivered at any club he has been on loan at.
But, this wouldn’t have been a new risk for Fulham as over the years, they have continually signed players who have struggled elsewhere, and they have blossomed and paid off that risk within the first few seasons of arrival. But at the age of just 23, and only costing €400,000, this could be a very profitable deal for the club this summer. Standing at 6’3, Eddy is reportedly a box-to-box midfielder, who has been deployed as a number 10 in the past. If Eddy can hit the ground running, I’d expect him to play within the midfield three rather than being a reason to force the likes of Tom Cairney back out wide again. Despite Eddy’s arrival potentially going under the radar, it’s good to see that the club are trying to have strength in depth in a number of positions, so Jokanovic can rotate for cup fixtures and have healthy competition in his squad this season. You can take a look at Eddy’s highlights here.
Fulham have also been linked with a move Spanish midfielder, Alex Fernandez who spent last season on loan at Reading. Reports suggest that a move was close to being agreed for a loan spell at Fulham, but this could fall through should Silvestre complete his move sooner rather than later. Judging by the Reading fans opinions, Fernandez came across as a nice guy but rarely delivered on the pitch, so in terms of the impact he could have on the Fulham side, he would be another gamble. Considering it would only be a loan deal, this is a relatively risk-free transfer for Fulham if it does go ahead.
Finally, the morning reports suggest that the man to replace Ross McCormack is Montpeiller forward, Steve Mounie who has been linked with a £6m transfer. Although Mounie has not been a key figure for the Ligue 1 side, his impressive performances at Ligue 2 side, Nimes last season would have caught the eye of many clubs. The 6’3, 21 year old forward scored 11 times in 32 appearances last season and would be seen as someone who can lead the Fulham line next season. It would be another risky bit of business by Fulham, with the player having to adjust to big step up from the French second tier. With the Championship getting increasingly harder year on year, whoever joins this summer has to hit the ground running as Fulham can’t afford to have another slow start with some members of the board hoping to secure a top six finish this season.
I am hoping that Fulham get off to a strong start this season though, especially with Jokanovic only on an 18 month contract, it would be good to see Slavisa hit the ground running and the board back him once more next January and get him to sign a new deal so we can actually have some stability at the club. Whatever happens, I feel that Jokanovic is the right man for the job, and deserves to have the board financially back him through the season to build a squad that he feels is good enough for this division. But, while the squad goes under another rebuild, I hope the board realise that squad harmony and chemistry takes time to build, and that the club can’t afford to keep replacing their Head Coach every 6-8 months. It’s time to bring consistency back to the club, and if the off-field matters can be addressed and solidified, then the results on the pitch will only improve.
I am really excited for the rest of the transfer window and the upcoming season. It’s not going to be an easy ride, and as mentioned in my previous articles I feel that the aim should be around finishing in the top 10 this season, to build a platform to progress for next year. Promotion isn’t a quick thing to achieve and the majority of the teams that have been promoted in years have had the spine of their side together for at least a couple of years, and this is something that Fulham needs to achieve.
Thank you ever so much for reading – Please feel free to tweet your thoughts to me @ABronsSmith.