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How Fulham could line-up on opening day of 2022-23 season vs Liverpool
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How Fulham could line-up on opening day of 2022-23 season vs Liverpool

Despite enduring a frustrating start to the transfer window, Fulham’s summer business looks to have finally clicked into gear.

Like Norwich City, last season’s Championship winners have failed to beat the drop on the last two occasions they secured promotion back up to the Premier League and are rapidly gaining a reputation of being a yo-yo club.

The Cottagers are unlikely to splash out over £100m like they did with little success in the summer of 2018, but Marco Silva will be keen to assemble a side that he believes is good enough to survive in the top-flight.

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The West London side have signalled their intent with the signing of Portuguese international João Palhinha from Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.

Shahid Khan’s club signed the 26-year-old midfielder, who became the club’s first signing of the summer, for £17.2m.

But with Fulham welcoming Fabio Carvalho’s Liverpool to Craven Cottage four weeks on Saturday to kick off the new campaign, Silva will be hoping that several talented and experienced stars follow Palhinha through the Motspur Park Training Ground.

With Silva’s side facing the acid test in their first game back in the big time, TBR takes a look at how Fulham could line-up against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.

How Fulham could line-up

While a move for Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno hasn’t yet come to fruition, Silva will be hoping that staying in London and playing regularly in the Premier League is enough to convince the German to join the Cottagers.

The former Bayer Leverkusen stopper is out of favour at the Emirates following the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale, and he’ll be carefully planning his next move to ensure he’s guaranteed the number one spot wherever his next destination proves to be.

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L’Equipe report Fulham are in talks with Lyon to discuss Silva’s interest in the Ligue 1 giant’s captain, Leo Dubois.

The 27-year-old looks to have become Fulham’s primary target at right-back, ahead of the likes of Neco Williams, Djibril Sidibe and former Newcastle man Kevin Mbabu.

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Despite starting every Championship game last season, it’s hard to envisage 34-year-old Tim Ream being a first-choice option for Silva in the Premier League.

Fulham have enquired about taking Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly on a season-long loan, and despite the Ivorian currently being reluctant to make the switch, the lure of regular minutes could sway the former Villarreal man’s mind as the season draws nearer.

United’s number three would likely partner former Manchester City youngster Tosin Adarabioyo at the heart of City’s defence. Although it has been reported that Fulham have joined Newcastle in offering Aston Villa target and former AC Milan captian Alessio Romagnoli a contract.

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While Fulham are in talks to sign Juventus’ Luca Pellegrini, ex-Wolves man Ruben Vinagre, who could be a cheaper left-back option, is attracting loan interest.

Vinagre spent last season at Sporting Lisbon with Palhinha after joining the Portuguese giants on a permanent deal from Molineux 12 months ago.

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Partnering Palhinha in midfield, who has 14 caps for Portugal and played 95 times for Lisbon, could well be Manchester United outcast Andreas Pereira.

Pereira, who has recently finished a loan spell in Brazil with Flamengo, is closing in a on £10m deal – including add-ons to Fulham.

Capable of playing out wide, in an advanced or deep-lying midfield role, Pereira will add graft, quality and experience to Silva’s side.

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After a long wait, it looks like Fulham will finally sign Shakhtar Donetsk winger Manor Solomon, albeit on loan instead of a permanent deal.

The Premier League newcomers have been negotiating a deal for the 22-year-old Israeli over the last few weeks and they have reached a breakthrough.

Solomon – who has scored 22 goals in 103 games for Shakhtar – will bring an injection of goals and creativity from the wide areas for Silva’s side.

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Solomon’s arrival could see former Liverpool man Harry Wilson take up the attacking midfield position. The Welshman had a scintillating season in the Championship, scoring 10 goals and providing 20 assists from 41 matches.

Fulham are hoping to sign one of Serie A’s most talented players in Bologna winger Musa Barrow, as reported by Tuttomercatoweb.

Since making the move from Atalanta, the Gambian has scored 24 goals and laid on 20 assists from 93 matches for Bologna, and the £16m-valued 23-year-old could follow Brentford-bound Aaron Hickey to the Premier League this summer.

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Spearheading Silva’s forward line and completing how Fulham could line-up will undoubtedly be Serbian superstar Aleksandar Mitrovic, who will be hoping to carry over his blistering goalscoring form from the Championship to the Premier League.

The 27-year-old scored 43 goals in the second tier of English football last season, but in his last Premier League campaign, the former Newcastle United man only managed three top-flight goals.

While Mitrovic has 85 goals from 126 Championship matches, the physically imposing striker has 24 goals from 104 Premier League appearances.

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