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West Brom man among Championship stars Fulham should now target

Fulham are Premier League-bound as Championship winners, but what players could Marco Silva sign from the second-tier with several stars out of contract?

The Cottagers face decisions on the futures of five men who won their crown, while also having to plan without Fabio Carvalho. Fabrizio Romano claims ‘everything is done’ for the 19-year-old to join Liverpool in the summer.

Silva has already given Fulham his go-ahead to tie up the immediate futures of two of his regular options. The Craven Cottage natives have triggered options to extend Tim Ream and Neeskens Kebano’s contracts for another 12-months.

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But Fabri, Michael Hector, Alfie Mawson, Tyrese Francois and Jean Michael Seri are still out of contract this June. So, Silva could need to strengthen across the pitch and may find some bargains by shopping in the Championship this year.

Several second-tier stars who failed to secure promotion into the top-flight this term could serve roles in west London. A raft are also set to hit the market as free agents in June, which could see Fulham spend elsewhere for big names.

So, what players in the Championship may serve a purpose under Silva in the Premier League should Fulham sign a second-tier talent for the top-flight?

West Brom’s Johnstone should be top Championship player for Fulham to sign

West Brom goalkeeper Sam Johnstone should be the top Championship player on Silva and Fulham’s shortlist for summer signings. The England international is out of contract at The Hawthorns in June and worthy of a top-flight return.

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Silva is seemingly in the market for a new option between the sticks in his bid to keep the Cottagers clear of another immediate relegation. TEAMtalk report Fulham are interested in re-signing Alphonse Areola from Paris Saint-Germain.

Hopes at Craven Cottage of their 2020/21 loanee returning are high as PSG are keen to sell. But West Ham are keen to keep Areola in east London, and the Daily Mail claim his £120k-a-week wage is the only major stumbling block.

Johnstone, then, would be a very capable alternative, yet Fulham may have to hope he favours playing time for the World Cup. The Mirror note Tottenham are confident of signing Johnstone after Manchester United cooled their interest.

Reading raid for Swift could see Silva replace Seri at Craven Cottage

Should Silva let Seri go, Fulham should consider signing John Swift to replace the £25m midfielder. Swift will hit the market unattached when his Reading contract expires in June, but was one of the best creators in the Championship.

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No second-tier player created more chances than Swift or Harry Wilson, who carved out 102, per WhoScored. Swift also only trailed the Cottagers’ Wilson for assists on 13 to 19 across his 38 regular-season appearances this term.

Reading have yet given up hope of retaining Swift, with Berkshire Live reporting the Royals have made a last-ditch attempt to discuss new terms. The Athletic also report West Brom are ‘optimistic’ of signing the 11-goal 26-year-old.

But Fulham can offer Swift a step up to the Premier League if they sign the Championship star from Reading. He has shown his skill in the second-tier, but has only enjoyed one top-flight minute in his career back in 2014 with Chelsea.

Fulham can support Mitrovic by signing Championship star Brereton Diaz

Fulham secured the Championship title after scoring 106 goals – 32 more than any team – with Aleksandar Mitrovic taking the Golden Boot with 43. But the Serbian has previously struggled in the top-flight, with three goals in 2020/21.

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Silva can now support Mitrovic in the Premier League by demanding Fulham sign another prolific player from the Championship. Ben Brereton Diaz should leave Blackburn Rovers this summer with his contract expiring in a year’s time.

The Chile forward finished third for the second-tier Golden Boot on 22 goals in 37 games as Rovers finished eighth. He will likely now step up to the Premier League, though, and The Sun report the 23-year-old’s available for just £15m.

However, The Sun add West Ham are frontrunners for a switch as David Moyes likes his ability to play centrally and on the wing. Sevilla also have a long-term interest, as well as competition from further teams from abroad this year.

Silva can add bite to Fulham midfield with Championship swoop for Travis

Silva can add further bite to Fulham’s midfield with a Championship swoop to sign another Blackburn player in Lewis Travis. The 24-year-old enters the last year of his contract in June and may leave, but Rovers have a one-year option.

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Travis finished his development at Blackburn after moving to Lancashire from Liverpool in 2015. He has since made 154 appearances at Rovers, including 45 during the regular Championship season and captained the side three times.

The Whiston-born anchor took command of the Ewood Park engine room with a great ball-winning ability. No central midfielder in the second-tier won more tackles (106) or made more interceptions (85) than Travis, per WhoScored.

Fulham could see Jacob Greaves spend one season as a Championship player

Fulham can see that Jacob Greaves only spends a season as a Championship player by signing the Hull City centre-half. The 21-year-old made the step up to the second-tier this term following the Tigers’ promotion from League One.

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Greaves has enjoyed a constant rise in his career in recent seasons, having made his League Two debut in 2019. His League One bow followed in 2020 and then Championship in 2021. The Premier League can easily follow in 2022.

Despite his lack of experience at the level, the 6 ft 1 talent recorded a greater volume of successful tackles with 84 than any other Championship centre-half, per WhoScored. He also made the fourth-most interceptions with 73 this term.

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