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The potential 2018-19 Fulham XI that will ease to Premier League safety

Photo: Getty Images

English Premier League

The potential 2018-19 Fulham XI that will ease to Premier League safety

Fulham have spent heavily this summer and their potential line-up looks devastating.

Fulham are back in the Premier League following a four-year absence and the Cottagers are determined to retain their spot in the top-flight.

The club’s relegation in 2014 ended a 12-year stint in England’s top-tier, with Fulham established as top club in the division and reaching the Europa League final in 2010.

Things have changed since but their return under Slavisla Jokanovic has raised optimism and a busy summer spending spree has seen the Cottagers land a number of exciting additions, which will provide a huge boost in their struggle to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Five new faces have already been secured and more could be right around the corner, leaving Fulham with this exceptional potential XI for the 2018-19 campaign.

GK: Fabri

Captured from Turkish giants Besiktas, 30-year-old Fabri arrives at Craven Cottage to provide a wealth of experience to the club in their return to the top-flight, having represented the Black Eagles in both the Champions League and Europa League.

Named the Super Lig’s Goalkeeper of the Year for the past two seasons, Fabri is expected to become first-choice for Slavisla Jokanovic’s side this season and would command the defensive line after reuniting with Goalkeeping Coach Jose Sambade Carreira, who he worked with at Deportivo.

(Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

RB: Kevin Malcuit

Fulham do not have much depth at right-back and France Football states this has led the Cottagers to target a move for Lille’s Kevin Malcuit, where they will face competition in the market from West Ham, Napoli and Inter Milan.

The 26-year-old is a very attack-minded full-back and can be seen as the ideal replacement for Ryan Fredericks, who left to join Manuel Pellegrini at West Ham when his contract at Craven Cottage expired in June.

CB: Maxime Le Marchand

Versatile defender Maxime Le Marchand moved to the Premier League in July from OGC Nice, where he is now expected to be one of the first names on the team-sheet for the Cottagers next season – and he could be joined by another defensive addition.

“I’m very happy to sign for Fulham, this is a big club that’s very popular. I’m also happy to have joined up with a good friend, Jean Michaël Seri. I know that there is a lot of hard work ahead and I hope to bring my very best to this team.”

– Le Marchand speaks after sealing a move to Fulham.

CB: Alfie Mawson

A deal worth £20m bringing Alfie Mawson back to the Premier League from recently relegated Swansea City is on the horizon, according to the BBC, in what would represent a significant coup for Slavisla Jokanovic’s side.

Currently battling to return from a knee injury, Mawson will spend the first few weeks of the campaign on the sidelines but is likely to be first-choice at the heart of Fulham’s defence alongside fellow new signing Maxime Le Marchand.

24-year-old Mawson, a former England U21 international, earned a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s senior squad last term and is rated very highly.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

LB: Matt Targett

Spending the second-half of last season on-loan with Fulham, Matt Targett shone at left-back in a move that proved decisive to the club’s promotion success – as it allowed Ryan Sessegnon to push into a more advanced role, where he thrived.

Jokanovic is now looking to sign the 22-year-old on a permanent basis and an improved offer is expected before the close of the transfer window, according to The Daily Echo, most likely occurring after the capture of Mawson is complete.

CM: Stefan Johansen

 

27-year-old Norway midfielder was a key-part of Fulham’s promotion winning side last year, appearing 48 times in the Championship and providing a cutting edge in the final third – boasting seven goals and eight assists.

Also impressing with 11 goals and eight assists in 2016-17, Johansen will hope to maintain his excellent form in front of goal in his debut Premier League campaign – where the 41-cap Norway international could play a key part in the battle for survival.

CM: Tom Cairney

Linked heavily with the likes of Newcastle United and West Ham in the past 12 months, Fulham skipper Tom Cairney committed his future to the club this summer by signing an extended five-year deal at Craven Cottage.

The skipper played a key-role in Fulham’s remarkable 23-match unbeaten run last season, which provided the catalyst towards a return to the Premier League, and will be looking to shine in his first experience in the top-flight.

“I’m obviously delighted to extend my contract, it’s all I’ve wanted to do, and I’m just buzzing to get the season under way. Premier League football is back at the Cottage, and it’s great to be part of the squad that got us there again.”

– Cairney speaks after extending his contract.

CM: Jean-Michel Seri

12 months ago, Jean-Michel Seri was heavily linked with a transfer to Barcelona and also courted the attention of a number of Premier League clubs, including Arsenal, which shows just how much of a coup Fulham have secured.

The 18-cap Ivory Coast international was signed in July for a club-record deal alongside former OGC Nice team-mate Maxime Le Marchand, a deal that left many stunned, and the 27-year-old could craft an incredible partnership with Tom Cairney and Stefan Johansen in the heart of midfield.

(Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

RM: Andre Schurrle

Not content with stunning everyone with the capture of Jean-Michel Seri, Fulham raised eyebrows once again after securing World Cup winner Andre Schurrle on-loan from Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund for the next two seasons.

The 27-year-old winger scored the winning goal for Germany against Argentina in Brazil four-years ago and boasts an impressive record of 22 goals in 57 caps for his nation – and he will have something to prove in England after a frustrating spell with Chelsea previously.

LM: Ryan Sessegnon

Fulham’s shining light is still only 18-years-old but he is already backed to be a star in the coming years, with many tipping him for a surprise England call-up for the World Cup after his starring exploits at Craven Cottage last year.

The Championship Player of the Season netted 16 goals and provided eight assists in a remarkable spell of form last season, playing a decisive role in Fulham’s promotion to the Premier League and shining after the capture of Matt Targett on-loan from Southampton.

ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic

A saga that rumbled on for months, Fulham signed Aleksandar Mitrovic on a permanent basis this week from Newcastle United after his stellar period on-loan at Craven Cottage in the second half of last season saw him net 12 goals in just 17 starts.

Fresh from representing Serbia at the World Cup in Brazil, where he scored against Switzerland, Mitrovic will now be looking to prove his worth in the Premier League after making just six top-flight appearances for Newcastle last term.

Prior to that, Mitrovic netted nine goals and contributed four assists for the Magpies in 2015-16 and will hope to rekindle that form in west London.

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