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Fulham

West Ham should sign Aleksandar Mitrovic who just can’t stop scoring

The 23-year-old has 12 goals in 13 appearances since his Championship arrival.

Josh Kerr

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Photo: Getty Images

With the likes of Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez being linked with moves away from East London, West Ham should look no further than to their London neighbours for reinforcements in attack, with Fulham loanee striker Aleksandar Mitrovic firing on all fronts for the Cottagers since his January move.

According to the Daily Mail, Mitrovic’s parent club Newcastle have stated they are willing to sell the striker, with Rafa Benitez hopeful of securing a significant fee that he can reinvest.

Mitrovic cost the Magpies £13 million when he initially joined but the North East side want to make a healthy profit, while the player himself is keen on a move away from St James’ Park.

The Serbian striker has been a revelation at Craven Cottage and Slavisa Jokanovic’s use of his fellow countryman has seen the 23-year-old striker become prolific on all fronts in the Championship.

Mitrovic joined on the final day of January’s transfer window and has scored 12 goals in his last 13 games, helping Fulham cement an automatic promotion chase.

Despite missing out on the final day after their 3-1 defeat to Birmingham City, Mitrovic can still fire Fulham to the Premier League via the play-offs and showcase why he is deserving of a second chance in the Premier League.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Reports from the Daily Star suggest that David Moyes is to be given a hefty spending spree for the summer and Mitrovic could prove to be the perfect transfer target.

Marko Arnautovic has proved a success in his debut season for the Hammers, registering 10 goals in the league to see him the club’s top-scorer this season.

However, the Austrian international is not an established out-and-out striker and the arrival of a forward partner could see the 29-year-old replicating the form of this season.

The signing of Javier Hernandez has not proved successful since his summer move from Bayern Leverkusen, reported by BBC Sport to be in the region of £16 million.

The former Manchester United striker has been left frustrated on the bench and has even been linked with a move back to his former club Chivas, as confirmed by ESPN.

In the case of 29-year-old Andy Carroll, the club must look to sell him as quickly as possible.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

With only eight starts to date this season, he has not made more than 18 starts in a single season since he joined the club on loan in 2012/13, meaning the Hammers are crying out for more options up-front.

Moyes’ side sits 15th in the league, on 38 points, with home games against Manchester United and Everton rounding off what has been a very mixed season.

Poor early results led to Slaven Bilic being replaced by Moyes back in November and pitch invasions and discontent in the stands during a loss to Burnley in March threatened to further sour the season.

Fans have been fuming about the club’s move to the London Stadium and a lack of investment on the pitch. This could call for real investment in the summer.

Mitrovic has proven his worth through his miraculous revival at Fulham and deserves the chance to showcase his talents in the top-flight.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

English Premier League

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s Fulham record is magnificent, only Mohamed Salah is better

The former Newcastle United man has proven to be a superb signing.

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Serbia international Aleksandar Mitrovic has proven to be an instant hit at Fulham, playing a crucial role since his switch in January.

Originally joining the Cottagers on loan from Newcastle, Mitrovic hit 12 goals in the Championship to help propel the West London side to the top-flight and then opened his Premier League account for the club in Saturday’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur.

Trailing 1-0, Mitrovic netted an equaliser for Fulham at Wembley seven minutes after the break and maintained an excellent record as a result – with only Liverpool star Mohamed Salah outscoring him in English football since he made his debut for the club in February.

Mitrovic never really got a look in under Rafael Benitez during Newcastle’s return to the top-flight last season but the Magpies will certainly be regretting that decision, as they have seen the likes of Dwight Gayle and Islam Slimani struggle to make an impact – with both now plying their trade elsewhere.

Fulham, meanwhile, invested heavily in their squad over the course of the summer but securing Mitrovic on a permanent basis may prove to be the shrewdest deal of them all – especially as he is well accustomed to the English game and, unlike forwards arriving from abroad, will not require time to settle.

He showed that against Mauricio Pochettino‘s Tottenham on Saturday, up against a defence that conceded just 36 goals last season – the third-best record in the Premier League behind Manchester City and Manchester United.

Fulham are empty-handed from their opening two fixtures after defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham but Mitrovic can provide a boost in the coming weeks during a run of winnable games, where the Cottagers clash with Burnley, Brighton and Watford over the course of the next month.

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Fulham

One winner, one loser as Fulham face defeat against Tottenham

The Cottagers have suffered two defeats from two so far this season.

Max Cohen

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Photo: Getty Images

Fulham endured a losing return to Wembley on Saturday, falling to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur.

It was a match few expected the Whites to get anything out of, but the newly-promoted club nevertheless played with energy and had the score level at 1-1 for a large portion of the second half.

It was an encouraging display, yet ultimately a pointless result as Fulham slumped to two consecutive defeats.

Here is one winner and one loser from the match, as one Fulham defender rose to the occasion and one of last season’s promotion heroes was dropped to the bench.

(Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Winner: Maxime Le Marchand

There had been much talk of how Fulham were missing a multitude of central defenders in the run-up to the match, with Denis Odoi suspended and Tim Ream and Alfie Mawson missing through injury.

Yet despite the absence of these centre-backs, Maxime Le Marchand produced an all-action display at the heart of Fulham’s back four. Standing in the way of many Spurs attacks, the Frenchman was quick to snuff out danger and block dangerous shots all match.

It was telling that all three goals came from brilliant pieces of skill from Spurs, and Le Marchand might well have given Slavisa Jokanovic another selection headache when Ream and Mawson are fit again.

(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Getty Images)

Loser: Kevin McDonald

The holding midfielder lost his place in the team on Saturday, replaced by deadline day signing Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa.

The Cameroonian international had only joined up with the squad this week, and with a limited number of training sessions under his belt, many expected McDonald to be preferred in the starting XI.

Yet to the surprise of some Fulham supporters, Anguissa was immediately thrust into the match from the start and played the full 90 minutes with promise. In flashes, he showed impetus and strength, yet struggled at times to distribute the ball quickly and effectively through the midfield.

McDonald, a stalwart and integral member of last season’s team, will feel hard done by to have lost his starting berth– but that is the nature of the Premier League.

More competition means more uncomfortable decisions, and it is now up to the Scot to convince Jokanovic that he deserves to be Fulham’s first choice defensive midfielder.

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Fulham

Three things learnt from Tottenham’s win over Fulham: Moura proves his point

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Photo: Getty Images.

Harry Kane finally ended his August curse by scoring in the Premier League in the first month of the season as Tottenham secured a 3-1 victory over Fulham at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.

Lucas Moura had opened the scoring with an impressive curling finish on the stroke of half-time, but the visitors fought back as Aleksandr Mitrovic nodded into an empty net after some poor defending.

Kieran Trippier gave his team the lead again with a free-kick as the clock ticked down and then Kane’s moment came with a composed finish into the far corner of the net.

Here’s what we learned from the tie…

Mauricio Pochettino is a man of his word

The Spurs coach promised to a fresh start for the squad after the closure of the transfer window and he followed through on that promise with his selection against Fulham in a London derby.

With Toby Alderweireld back in the team for only his sixth appearance for the club in 2018, Danny Rose also returned to the matchday squad and took a place on the bench. Having failed to sign anyone this summer, it’s clear that the coach has little choice but to call upon such players.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 18: Kieran Trippier of Tottenham Hotspur shoots and scores his side’s second goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham FC at Wembley Stadium on August 18, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Lucas Moura proved he deserved his chance

After a dazzling pre-season campaign caught the eye, often acting as a second striker behind Fernando Llorente, Moura started for Pochettino alongside Harry Kane in attack and showed why he deserved a shot. His strike just before half-time was the perfect example of his excellent technique.

Throughout, the Brazilian was energetic and his movement created opportunities for those in and around him. After this display, he can expect to be in contention.

Ben Davies’ questionable form has continued

Question marks were raised over the performances of Ben Davies in pre-season after he looked to have secured the role of first choice at left-back in 2017/18. Many shrugged off his form as pre-season and nothing to worry about, but his start to the competitive campaign has shown few signs of improvement.

As Aleksandr Mitrovic scored the equaliser, it was his woeful positioning and tracking back which allowed Ryan Sessegnon to feed in the Serbian striker to nod into an empty net.

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