Macsen Morgan takes a look potential new options on the wings, following numerous summer departures.
With the recent exit of Neeskens Kebano and the departure of both Dan James and Manor Solomon after their loans expired, Fulham need some new players to strengthen the wing positions. So here are three players that I think would help us avoid second-season syndrome.
1. Jesper Karlsson
24-year-old Swedish international Jesper Karlsson is the first player I think would fit the Marco Silva system. He is an incredibly talented player, racking up 21 goal contributions in just 33 appearances last season, and at only 24 he has a lot of time to develop. The first comparison I can think of is to Manor Solomon as they are both right-footed left wingers. Another similarity to many of Fulham’s wingers is that they play as wingers who can invert into a wide 10 player.
Karlsson ranks very highly in the Eredivisie for his playmaking stats. He also provides a great goal-scoring threat from both inside and outside the box. He wouldn’t break the bank at about £15m and would be a great development option while also being starting quality.
2. Pedro Neto
The next winger on my list is Wolves winger, Pedro Neto. The 23-year-old Portuguese winger is one of the most exciting young prospects in the Premier League even after his sub-par season, which was cut short by an ankle injury meaning he only played 18 games. Injury seems to be a common problem in his game, curtailing both his 2021/22 season and 2022/23 seasons. However, he has still retained his explosivity and his incredible dribbling skill.
Neto is a very versatile player, showcasing his ability to play across the front three as well as being very confident with both feet. This means that he will be an option on both wings in case of injury or suspension. In the past, he has been held back by the tactical decisions and the personnel at Wolves but has shown moments of excellence throughout his career and in his first season in the top flight. He’s a player with some serious potential but there might be better choices out there for less money as he would probably cost upwards of £20m.
3. Samuel Iling-Junior
The final winger on my list is Samuel Iling-Junior, the 23-year-old who currently plays for Juventus. An out-and-out winger, Iling-Junior is an interesting player, in a world where the majority of successful wingers cut inside and try to take shots on goal, he prefers to hug the touchline and attempt to get crosses into the box. This provides some contrast to the majority of Fulham’s wingers such as Wilson and Willian. He also has experience playing as a left-back which means that his pressing and tackling are top notch and his recovery speed is great as well.
However, his ball progression is one of his best assets as he is great as breaking through the defensive line. His crossing is great as well as he had and accuracy of 66.7%, which is incredibly high and would help the Fulham team that whips in 40+ crosses and none of them connect. He is also quite cheap with a market value of just £8m. In my opinion, he would be a good buy but he lacks that first-team experience that Fulham need.