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Fulham’s Summer of 2022: Arrivals and Departures

Written by Louis Wishlade on 2nd September 2022

The 2022 summer transfer window drew to a close at 11 pm last night as many clubs rushed to finalise deals late into the night. Louis Wishlade summarises Fulham’s dealings since June.

This article refers to the Fulham men’s first team only, with fees according to the reporting of The Athletic where available and otherwise taken from Transfermarkt. Thus, the figures may not fully reflect the full financial complexities of each deal.

Fulham Arrivals

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Tony Khan’s recruitment team brought a total of eleven players to Motspur Park this summer to strengthen Marco Silva’s side, as he bids to keep Fulham in the Premier League at the club’s third time of asking.

Despite the Whites confirming their place in the top division in April, it was reported that Silva had suggested on multiple occasions his displeasure at the pace at which the club was recruiting players this summer, expecting ten new additions prior to the start of the season. However, Fulham once again saw a deadline day rush, completing deals for four players on the final day.

Joao Palhinha – £17.2 million from Sporting Lisbon

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Fulham beat Wolverhampton Wanderers to the signing of Sporting Lisbon academy graduate, Joao Palhinha, in July. Joining the club on a five-year contract, the Portuguese international has already shown his Champions League pedigree, immediately impressed with his tenacity and sublime tackling ability. His headed goal against Brentford only further endeared himself to those at the Cottage.

Expect Palhinha to replace Seri as Silva’s key cog in the midfield, controlling the tempo of the game like a metronome. Whilst Silva’s fellow countryman has already shown that he is not afraid of a yellow card, racking up three bookings in five appearances so far, should his current form continue, his reported £17.2 million fee could appear to become a bargain.

Issa Diop – £15 million from West Ham United

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After a protracted set of negotiations between the West and East London clubs, Issa Diop was eventually permitted to sign for Fulham in August. The French centre-back was believed to be one of the club’s key targets over the summer, with the recruitment department persisting to reach a deal valued at £15 million.

The physically “imposing” 25-year-old, signed for West Ham in 2018 from his hometwon club – Toulouse – and accrued 96 appearances for the Hammers. However, the 6’4″ goliath disappointed those unfortunate enough to travel to Crawley, with his “comical defending” earning a 2/10 rating from Sammy James. Hopefully, the club’s joint-fifth most expensive signing can offer more than the player with whom he is tied, Alfie Mawson.

Andreas Pereira – £8 million (with £2 million in potential add-ons) from Manchester United

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Andreas Pereira, a versatile talent who can play at number 10 or on the wing, signed a four-year deal with the club in July, with Manchester United recieving an upfront payment of £8 million, with £2 million in potential add-on clauses and a 20% sell-on clause. The 26-year-old spent 11 years in Manchester but failed to become a first-team regular, joining Campeonato Serie A title challengers Flamengo last season, where he contributed 6 goals in 48 appearances.

Despite being Belgian-born, Pereira is eligable for Brazil and has one cap for the nation, becoming the first foreign-born player to compete for the Canarinhos. The tricky midfielder cited Marco Silva as a “key factor” in his decision to join the Cottagers, with fans already seeing some of Silva’s reasonings as Pereira’s bright boots and dazzling hair echo his scintillating footwork and impressive set-piece ability. Despite struggling against a defensively astute Wolverhampton Wanderers, the Brazilian has has a solid start thus far, earning George Rossiter’s vote as man of the match against Brentford.

Kevin Mbabu – £6.3 million (with £1.3 million in potential add-ons) from Wolfburg

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Fulham completed the purchase of Swiss international, Kevin Mbabu, in July for a deal amounting to an upfront payment of £6.3 million with another £1.3 million in potential add-ons and a 10% sell-on clause. The full-back signed a deal which will keep him at the Cottage for three years, providing competition for Kenny Tete as Neco Williams’ replacement.

The 27-year-old qualifies as a homegrown player due to his time spent at Newcastle United between 2013 and 2017. After making only three appearances on Tyneside, Mbabu returned to Switzerland with Young Boys before joining Wolfsburg in 2019, for whom he has participated in both the Champions and Europa Leagues. Despite struggling against Crawley, Mbabu has shown bright sparks in his cameos so far – with his searing pace and impressive crossing ability providing Mitrovic with the winning goal against Brentford.

Carlos Vinicius – £4.5 million from Benfica

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News emerged from Motspur Park late on deadline day to confirm the signing of Carlos Vinicius for £4.5 million. The Brazilian striker signs from Benfica to give cover and competition for Aleksandar Mitrovic. The 27-year-old’s name may seem familliar due to his loan to Tottenham under Mourinho, where he scored 1 goal in 9 appearances.

The 6’3″ powerhouse striker scored 18 goals in 34 games for Benfica, whilst he has contributed 6 goals in 24 games at PSV during his two-year loan spell at the club, recently coming off the bench as the Dutch side lost out to Rangers in the second leg of the Champions League qualifiers.

Bernd Leno – £3 million (with £5 million in potential add-ons) from Arsenal

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German international, Bernd Leno, joined Fulham in August in a deal worth an upfront fee of £3 million, with an additional £1 million based on Premier League appearances, £2 million due for surviving relegation this season and £2 million for surviving next season. The goalkeeper is believed to have been a key target for the recruitment department this season, explaining the persistence in negotiating his arrival over a period of months. The 30-year-old has committed to a three-year deal at Motspur Park after having been displaced as Arsenal’s number 1 after the arrival of Aaron Ramsdale.

Leno is the youngest German goalkeeper to have played in the Champions League and made over 300 appearances for Leverkusen, earning a move to Arsenal believed to be worth an initial £19.2 million – where he made over 100 appearances. Somewhat surprisingly, Silva gifted the 30-year-old his Fulham debut against Brentford. Despite conceding two goals against the Bees, the German ‘sweeper-keeper’ was able to keep his place in the starting eleven after his Slovakian counterpart contributed to the dismal loss to Crawley. Since then, Leno has returned to the Emirates with Fulham and put in an impressive display despite the loss.

Willian – Free from Corinthians

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Brazillian winger Willian has signed for free from Corinthians. The former Chelsea and Arsenal forward has signed a one-year deal with the club after having impressed Marco Silva whilst training with Fulham first team over the previous two weeks. The 34-year-old adds valuable experience to the side, having made 70 international appearances as well as 259 Premier League appearances between 2013/14 and 2020/21, scoring 38 league goals and winning a mountain of silverware.

Willian was a crucial addition after long-term injuries to Solomon and Wilson left Silva’s side extremely thin on attacking depth. The deal is reminiscent of those ‘veteran additions’ made in the past, but let’s hope that Willian performs like Babel, rather than Schurrle.

Daniel James – Loan from Leeds United

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Fulham have recruited yet another Welsh winger, this time loaning Dan James from Leeds United for the remainder of the season. The 24-year old attacker joined the Peacocks from Manchester United last summer, making 40 competitive appearances and scoring 4 goals over the last 12 months.

However, the minute Welshman fell down the pecking order at Eland Road after the signings of Brenden Aaronson and Luis Sinisterra. James is said to have chosen Fulham over a number of other interested clubs.

Layvin Kurzawa – Loan from Paris Saint-Germain

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Fulham confirmed the season long loan of PSG left back Layvin Kurzawa on deadline day. The 29-year-old fell out of favour at the Parc des Princes, having made his last Ligue 1 appearance in August 2021, with Nuno Mendes and Juan Bernat both ahead of him.

The Frenchman will provide competition for Antonee Robinson, who has had a great start to the season, on the left side of defence. Having made 153 competitive appearances for PSG, winning 5 Ligue 1 titles in the process, and earning 13 caps for France, it may be no easy task for Robinson to keep his starting spot.

Manor Solomon – Loan from Shakhtar Donetsk

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Rumours surrounding Solomon began far before the end of the 2021/22 season, creating some tense moments between fans and Fabrizio Romano. Eventually, the deal was agreed, with the Champions League experienced attacker finally joining the club in July. However, controversy continued to surround the transfer due to Fulham taking advantage of a FIFA ruling regarding the war in Ukraine, which Drew Heatley explained. Shakhtar Donetsk Chief Executive, Sergei Palkin, was also left far from happy.

Unfortunately, other than from a few minutes off the bench against Liverpool, fans have not seen much of their new signing due to an knee injury for which Solomon has recieved surgery and is likely to be out for months. However, Jack Stroudley’s analysis of the versatile midfielder has shown us that we can expect a tricky dribbler with good creative nous due to a “high football IQ”.

Shane Duffy – Loan from Brighton

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Fulham bolstered the backline with the loan signing of Irish international, Shane Duffy, in August. The 30-year-old arrived at Motspur Park from Brighton and Hove Albion boasting a wealth of Premier League experience, having featured in 114 top division games, providing competition to Tim Ream and Tosin Adarabioyo.

A constant fixture of Chris Hughton’s side, the man mountain struggled under Graham Potter due to the adoption of a more expansive style, thus joining Celtic on loan during 2020/21, before returning to the South coast to compete for his place last season. Yet to start a league fixture for Fulham, Duffy has so far been used to shore up the defence in the dying minutes of games – which is ideal as he statistically performs well at aerial battles, blocks and clearances.

Fulham Departures

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Motspur Park saw many of the expensive remenants of Fulham’s failed effort to survive 2019/20 Premier League season leave its doors over the summer as a total of 12 players departed the club, whether permanently or on loan.

Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa – £14.7 million to Napoli

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Napoli took up the option to make Anguissa a permanent fixture at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona in May, after the Cameroonian midfielder made 25 Serie A appearances for the Gli Azzurri last seaosn. The 26-year-old remains Fulham’s record signing after joining the club from Marseille for €30 million (around £22.5 million) on the 2018 summer deadline day.

Despite the excitement whch circulated the fanbase after joining Fulham, accentuated by his astronomical fee, Anguissa failed to impress at Fulham, showing only glimpses of the expected talent in his two bites at the Premier League apple. The midfielder mustered a reputation for making risky, marauding runs up the pitch and also bailing on his side in the Championship, joining Villarreal in 2019/20 and then Napoli last season – helping to take both teams into European football.

Fabio Carvalho – £5 million (with £2.7 million in potential add-ons) to Liverpool

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Liverpool confirmed they would signing Fulham’s young starlet, Fabio Cravlho, in May, after months of endless rumours. The midfielder completed the remainder of the 2021/22 season at Fulham, helping the club he had been at from the age of 13 win the Championship title, before moving to Merseyside at the expiry of his contract. Despite moving at the end of his contract, as the Portugueseman had reportedly rejected multiple extension offers from the Whites, Fulham were still able to demand a fee for the 20-year-old due to him being under the age of 23.

Thankfully, the Whites were able to avoid the messy tribunal which followed Harvey Eliotts exit to the Reds, agreeing a £5 million deal with an additional £2.7 million due in potential add-ons and a 20% sell-on clause – partly due to Harry Wilson and Neco William’s arrivals at Motspur Park last season ‘repairing’ the strained relations between the two clubs. Carvalho appeared in the White shirt 40 times, contributing 11 goals and 8 assists. Carvalho has had a bright start to his Liverpool career in his cameos thus far, but thankfully he was unable to convert his last-minute chance on his return to Craven Cottage – where he was greeted with cheers compared to Elliott’s jeers – as Fulham took a point on the opening day of the season.

Jean Michael Seri – Released (Moved to Hull City)

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Fulham released Jean Michael Seri somewhat unexpectedly at the end of his contract in June. The club declined to trigger his optional extension and refused to offer the Ivorian midfielder a new contract despite his stellar 2021/22 season at the heart of Marco Silva’s champions – mostly due to his high wages as the club were threatened by Financial Fair Play limits.

Seri joined from OGC Nice in the summer 2018/19, which culminated in the 31-year-old suing the French club over the deal to take him to South West London him alongside Maxime Le Marchand for a combined fee of £30 million to avoid a sell-on payment. After making 31 largely disappointing Premier League appearances in 2018/19, the Ivorian was farmed out on loan to Bordeaux following Fulham’s relegation. However, under Marco Silva, Seri completed the ultimate redemption arc as a number 6 – his metronomic control of the game’s tempo and glorious range of passing oozing the class that once linked him to Barcelona, capturing the hearts of Fulham fans. Instead, Seri will now light up eyes at Hull City.

Alfie Mawson – Released (Moved to Wycombe Wanderers)

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Alfie Mawson is another big money flop who has been released after his contract expired. The English defender was touted for big things after having been named in the England squad for friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy prior to his signing for £15 million.

Origionally purchased as an upgrade on Tim Ream, Mawson was unable to permanently displace his American colleague, partly due to injuries sidelining him for 76 games since joining the club. After making just 6 showings last season, Mawson was released. Since leaving Motspur Park, Mawson has returned to Wycombe Wanderers – where he spent the 2014/15 season on loan from the Bees – a stark fall from grace from the verge of the England World Cup squad but for surgery due to a knee injury.

Cyrus Christie – Released (Moved to Hull City)

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Cyrus Christie found himself without a club after four years at Fulham, originally signed for £3 million from Middlesborough in January 2018. At the time, the Irish international was regarded as one of the Championship’s best right-backs, however, the 29-year-old failed to make himself a permanent first team fixture under any of the last four managers – playing just 58 league games, with the baulk of these coming after Fredericks’ departure.

After the signing of Kenny Tete, Christie found himself even further out of favour, preferring loans to Nottingham Forrest  and Swansea City over the Cottage bench. He played 44 league games at the City Gate and also impressed at Swansea during his 6-month loan spell last season, contributing 3 goals and 5 assists in 23 games. Christie joins Seri at Hull City after quipping “Fulham never saw the best of me, its time to kick on” as he departed.

Michael Hector – Released

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Michael Hector, a victim of Chelsea’s buy-to-loan policy having played for 17 clubs by the age of 28, signed for Fulham for £8 million in January 2020. Enthused by raving reviews from Sheffield Wednesday fans, the Jamaican international proved to be the real deal early on, quickly earning the nickname ‘Virgil Van Mike’ (prior to the Dutchman being bullied to submission by a certain Serbian tank this August) as he immediately shored up the leaky Parker backline with his imposing physique, but also offered an array of short and long passing perfectly suited to the ex-Fulham captain’s style.

However, the centre-back would not adapt well to the Premier League and, quickly looking out of depth after 4 appearances, Hector was subsequently displaced by Tosin Adarabioyo and would struggle to regain his place in the first eleven – even with a clean slate under Marco Silva as he made just 4 Championship appearances in the last campaign. Now 30-years-old, Hector remains without a club after being released by Fulham.

Fabri – Released

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Fabri joined Fulham from Besiktas for a fee of £5.4 million in the summer of 2018 – a deal believed to be made off the recommendation of an outgoing goalkeeper coach. After just two first team appearances for the Whites, the Spanish goalkeeper leaves four years later after being released.

There is little to say about Fabri’s time at Fulham, as he was offered little opportunity to make an impact, with Rhys Daly believing that his departure was a good call.

Joe Bryan – Loan to OGC Nice

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Joe Bryan will always be a Fulham hero for his exploits at Wembley, where he stunned our noisy neighbours with a free kick from the half way line (Ok, fine, not quite), and then turned into a lethal finisher, combining with Mitro to slot home neatly. He might not have been in Marco Silva’s plans, but you can be certain that Joe will never have to buy a drink in SW6 ever again. On top of all that, he has been one of the most wonderful personalities to have graced these doors, and his wit and wisdom have endeared him to all.

Enjoy the Riviera, Sir Joseph. We salute you.

Rodrigo Muniz – Loan to Middlesborough

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Rodrigo Muniz was brought in last summer to provide backup to Aleksandar Mitrovic, but when your hitman is breaking Championship records left, right and centre, it’s quite hard to get a look in. Nevertheless, when called upon, Muniz showed his ability – none more so than on that windy afternoon in Stoke where SambaSZN came into its own, scoring twice and making another as Fulham ran out 3-2 winners.

Game time seems like a necessity if he’s going to flourish, and the early signs are good on Teesside, where he opened his account in midweek. Playing in a Chris Wilder side who are expected to do well this season, Muniz might have just found the perfect temporary home whilst he grows into the player we’ve seen flashes of so far.

Steven Sessegnon – Loan to Charlton

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Stevie Sess, he’s one of our own. It hasn’t quite exploded into life for Steven at Fulham in the way that it did for his much-heralded brother, but that’s an exceptionally high bar to set. There have been some ups and downs in his Fulham career, but hopefully this loan to Charlton is one where Steven can assert himself in a consistent starting position (versatility is a blessing, and also a curse) and get consistent game time under his belt.

Whilst a glorious homecoming isn’t necessarily on the cards right now, stranger things have happened in football – and it would be one which would be a feelgood story for both the family and the Fulham fanbase.

Paulo Gazzaniga – Loan to Girona

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Gazzaniga was brought in as Fulham’s new shot-stopper last season, but despite beginning the season between the sticks, he soon lost his place to Marek Rodak – and didn’t win it back until the final game of the season, which Fulham lost 4-0 and where Gazzaniga hardly covered himself in glory.

He heads off to an exciting project at Girona, who have brought in some very tidy signings this summer, and where he’ll have the chance to re-establish himself as a No. 1.

Terence Kongolo – Loan to Le Havre

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It’s difficult to be particularly positive about anything with Terence Kongolo’s time at Fulham. Every time green shoots and good performances looked possible, he was back on the treatment table – the recurring theme of his stay in SW6.

Nobody wants to see a player perennially blocked from doing what they love, so we hope that this move works out and Terence can stay fit – but for now, we’d imagine those who’ll miss Terence the most work in our Physiotherapy department.

Sylvester Jasper – Loan to Bristol Rovers

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Jasper’s time at Hibernian last season on loan was not without it’s moments of brilliance, but they were too few and far between for the Hibees to consider making things permanent, and so Syl ended up back at Fulham this summer.

Next stop, Bristol, where he joins the Gas in League One under Joey Barton. Barton’s comments seem positive, with excitement at Jasper’s ability eminent in his press conference, so perhaps this is the place where Syl’s talents finally get their opportunity to shine.

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