It seems as if every season there is one newly promoted club that will punch above their weight. Undefeated since the Prem restart in December, Fulham have been tantalizing fans with their performances. Sitting so close to European spots, Fulham has the chance to do something remarkable.
Fulham have been a club that is akin to a yo-yo. Since the creation of the Prem, they’ve had seasons of varying success in the top flight followed by years of struggles in the championship.
With safety from relegation more or less guaranteed, Fulham have a chance at Europe. The ever hyped Marco Silva has found a path forward. With a bend but don’t totally break backline, their potent attack has been able to match some of the league’s best.
Contrary to their infamous 2014 winter window, Fulham have made smart transfers. With their iconic striker, Fulham correctly built around a cornerstone. Picking up promising talent with experienced veterans has allowed for the side to have two timelines.
Liverpool is right on their heels, so any push for Europe will be tough. Even if they fail, Fulham has set themselves up for continued success in the Prem.
Marco Silva has been the “next big thing” since 2017, but never found sustained success in the Prem. While it’s still early, Silva’s tactics unlocked the potential of Fulham.
Going with a back four is solid, if not predictable. Tim Ream has been the defense’s stalwart, getting his chance to captain a Prem defense. Tosin Adarabioyo has been Ream’s main partner, but neither player resembles a modern ball playing center back.
Antonee Robinson, who had a killer World Cup, is the perfect modern fullback. Mixing a great passing game with a physicality that’s hard to match, Robinson has caught the eyes of the Prem. The left back position is weaker, but has not sunk the team yet.
Much like any other side, the midfield is king. Every shift from defense to attack and vice versa goes through their excellently balanced midfield.
Silva has his midfield set up with the classic 6,8 and 10 roles. João Palhinha is the team’s destructive force in the midfield and often partnered with Harrison Reed at the 8. Finally showing his potential in the Prem, Andreas Pereira is the side’s creative heartbeat.
It’s impossible to discuss Fulham without Mitrović. The crazed striker is finally translating his Championship form to the Prem. Mitro will likely never reach the sky high potential of his youth, but for Fulham fans, he is their own.
Fulham’s elite offense and adequate defense has allowed Silva to find success in the English top flight. If they are able to continue building that midfield, Fulham have a path for future success.
In the winter window of 2014, Fulham threw money around in a desperate bid to survive. With transfers that made no sense, it was not a surprise to see them relegated.
Eight years later, Fulham went into the summer window with a much smarter strategy. Find experienced players who can help nurture the growth of high potential youngsters. Out of all the promoted sides, Fulham had the least amount of work to do.
Mitrović’s legendary 2021-22 campaign meant the club didn’t need to upgrade at the forward line. Adarabioyo, Ream, Robinson and Tete are all experienced defenders, who grew together in the Championship last season. This meant the areas of great need would be the midfield and keeper position.
Fulham’s staff, knowing what they needed to add for Silva’s vision, cooked. Filling in all the gaps and delivering Silva an excellent side.
To fill the goalkeeping need, Arsenal reject Bernd Leno was brought in. The German international brings immense experience and leadership to the side. Despite being forced out by Ramsdale, Leno is still an excellent shot stopper, currently holding the second best save percentage.
Palhinha may be the team’s best transfer, given how the Portuguese midfielder has bossed the Prem. Pereira has finally left Manchester United and been given the keys to Fulham’s offense, operating in the space created by Mitro. Willian’s move to Fulham was widely mocked, but the Brazilian winger has found ways to contribute
Surprisingly, Fulham have a case to make for having the best transfer window in the Prem. By adding great pieces at affordable prices, Fulham exorcized the demons of 2014.
Off a great win over Chelsea, the praise for Silva’s Fulham continues to pour in. With a great transfer policy to mold Silva’s vision, the club finally has a chance at some stability. Given their past tendency to yo-yo, they must ensure that this is the start of a new era.
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