Fulham’s summer business has perhaps become more notorious than any other club this offseason. The Whites spent over 100 million pounds after gaining promotion, bringing in a full 12 players to Craven Cottage.
Here is a comprehensive ranking of all of the summer arrivals, halfway into the league season.
- Aleksandar Mitrovic
It is a telling sign of Fulham’s transfer business that their best signing isn’t truly a new face. Mitrovic’s loan was made permanent in the summer from Newcastle, and the Serbian has been the Cottagers’ best player since.
The top scorer that has played a role in more than half of Fulham’s total league goals to date, the Whites simply would flounder without their star striker.
2. Calum Chambers
The Arsenal loanee was initially terrible when utilised at the back, yet a switch to centre midfield has brought out the best in Chambers.
Now one of Fulham’s most influential players, Chambers is a rock in the centre of midfield, breaking up play and starting attacks with determination.
3. Sergio Rico
Fulham’s current first-choice goalkeeper was number three in the goalkeeping pecking order earlier in the season, yet after Fabri and Marcus Bettinelli fell to the side, the Sevilla loanee flourished.
A player with Europa League and La Liga experience, Rico’s saves have been vital and he has commanded his penalty area with authority in recent weeks.
4. Alfie Mawson
The centre-half is finally starting to show signs of the player everyone expected him to be, most notably producing a gargantuan display in the weekend scoreless draw at Newcastle.
An injury kept Mawson out for the opening month of the season and clearly impacted his form once he returned to the first team; luckily for Fulham, the defender appears to be back to his dominating self at the heart of defence.
5. Joe Bryan
The left back was signed from Bristol City in the summer, but has struggled to adapt to life in the top flight. A hamstring strain ruled him out for over a month in the fall, and he recently displaced Maxime le Marchand in the starting lineup.
Prone to mistakes at times, Bryan still has much to learn about Premier League defending, yet has potential to be a quality wingback at Craven Cottage.
6. Andre Schurrle
Perhaps Fulham’s most high-profile signing, the World Cup winner has enjoyed a mixed time at Craven Cottage.
Schurrle has registered five goals so far, second only behind Mitrovic, revealing his knack for audacious finishes.
Yet the German has attempted a ridiculous number of shots in the process, often wayward in his shooting and wasteful in possession. And the winger is simply not cut out for a relegation dogfight, lacking the pace, aggression, and passion to fight for Fulham when it matters most.
7. Maxime le Marchand
The French defender joined Fulham along with fellow Nice teammate Jean-Michael Seri, yet surprisingly, it is Le Marchand who has played better at Craven Cottage.
Able to play either centre-back or wingback, the defender’s versatility is useful, yet Le Marchand has a penchant for gifting the opposition possession with sloppy passes out from the back.
Utilised at left back for Jokanovic’s final matches and for the opening games of Ranieri’s tenure, Le Marchand has now fallen out favour and out of the starting lineup.
8. Luciano Vietto
Another loanee from a top European club, Vietto’s time at Fulham has been inconsistent. Often used out wide in Jokanovic’s 4-3-3- system, the Argentine looked bright in attack and contributed vital assists in the early months of the season.
Yet his influence has diminished ever since, fading out of matches, failing to finish clear-cut opportunities, and getting bullied off the ball by more physical players.
9. Timothy Fosu-Mensah
The Manchester United loanee’s time at Fulham already appears to be coming to a close, with Ranieri completely freezing out the right back ever since being appointed manager.
Fosu-Mensah showed glimpses of brilliance, barging forward from the back with purposeful runs, but his defending was haphazard and his delivery poor. Fulham will do well to replace the youngster with a more experienced option in January.
10. Jean-Michael Seri
The signing that many hailed as the coup of the summer window has resulted in failure. Seri’s contributions to Fulham have been far outweighed by his negative traits and his inability to adapt to English football.
Never keen to track back, quick to give the ball away in terrible positions, and lacking any sort of intensity, Seri has been the biggest disappointment at Fulham all season.
Brought in to Craven Cottage by Fulham’s now-departed goalkeeping coach, the signing of Fabri already appears to be a multi-million pound mistake.
The Spaniard was unconvincing in the opening matches of the season and was quickly dropped in favour of Bettinelli. Since his demotion, Fabri has not played a minute in the league for Fulham since, and is firmly third choice in SW6.
12. Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa
Simply put, Anguissa is not fit to be a top-flight footballer. His touch is abysmal, his work-rate is poor, and his knack for attempting to take on five opposition players in his own defensive third is maddening.
One only needs to look at his performance against Manchester United, where Anguissa was the worst player on the pitch before being sent off in the second half.
The midfielder is still young and undoubtedly has potential, yet the decision to splash upwards of 20 million pounds on an unproven maverick looks misguided.