Macsen Morgan scours Europe to find some young prospects the recruitment team should be looking at.
As the transfer window approaches, Marco Silva will be looking to bolster our Fulham squad to hopefully avoid the haunting second-season syndrome. From the addition to the Welsh contingent to a lesser-known Croatian striker, here are my top five players that should be on Fulham’s shopping list this summer.
Welsh wonderkid Brennan Johnson should be, in my opinion, one of the first players that Fulham should look for as he provides starting 11 quality on the wings, and can also cover the number nine position. He can even play as an attacking midfielder if needed. His footwork and skill are sought after and his goal-scoring isn’t bad, chalking up eight goals this season as second striker. However, these traits come at a hefty cost as he has a market value of £30 million. If Forest do go down though, then we might be able to get him for a bargain.
Next up is a lesser-known name, but Ahmedhodžić would be a very good player to bring in to help provide defensive cover and can provide a longer-term replacement for Tim Ream. The Bosnian CB is 24 and the oldest on this list, but still has time on his side. The Sheffield United player stands at 6 foot 3, and he has the ability to dominate the air.
As well as his height, his pace and agility are top-notch for a player of his stature. However, he lacks awareness and is vulnerable to passes played in behind. There also comes the problem of whether he is Premier League quality. While I have no doubts that he could be, the fact he currently plays in the Championship casts some doubts on whether he fits straight into the team. This, combined with the estimated £16 million price tag, means that he might not be the one.
Another option for defensive cover is Mohammed Salisu, the Ghanaian defender who plays for Southampton. The 23-year-old was one of the most promising centre-backs last year, and although he hasn’t performed brilliantly this season, he could still be a very valuable pick-up, especially if Southampton gets relegated. Salisu is a defender who plays on the front foot and likes to drive forward and can rank highly in progressive passes and final third passes. I think that he has the quality to fit into our starting XI immediately, and he plays in the same attacking style as Tim Ream and can provide a long-term replacement for him.
Almada is a versatile attacking midfielder who would provide great competition with Andreas Pereira. The Argentinian is one of the more promising prospects in the MLS at this moment, getting 13 goals and assists last season and being on track to beat it this season with nine in just six games. He’s a great dribbler and can think on his feet to find space in tight situations and find that crucial pass to set up that chance. As mentioned earlier, he can score goals, create chances, and even play on the wings. He was part of the World Cup-winning squad with Argentina, and there has been interest shown in him. With a market value of €25 million, he would most likely be the most expensive player on this list, but I think that he would be worth it.
Dion Drena Beljo
The thing that everyone has been waiting for: a back-up striker. Dion Drena Beljo is a 21-year-old Croatian striker who moved to FC Augsburg in January of this year. It could mean that trying to get him here could be a difficult task, but the Croat would be well worth it. His physical presence is one of his best traits, being a massive 6 foot 5 means that he can dominate those attacking set pieces even better than, dare I say, Mitrovic himself.
This doesn’t mean that his finishing ability is lacklustre as he can play as your typical poacher, but he’s also not scared to take a shot from outside the box and score them. In my opinion, he might be a perfect replacement for Mitrovic as he offers something else: pace. This could, as we have seen recently, have a great effect against teams that play a high back line.
Overall, these players could have a massive effect on next season and maybe enable a proper push for those coveted European places.