As Fulham fans around the world eagerly await new signings this summer, we’ve seen some of our academy get run-outs in the Premier League Summer Series. Here are the four I think are most likely to become first-team staples in the years to come.
1. Adrion Pajaziti
Although the 20-year-old midfielder is currently on loan at Danish club FK Haugesund, he’s still one of the most promising players in the academy, playing with Jay Stansfield and Luke Harris to help the U23s gain promotion to the first division of youth football. A very creative midfielder who is capable of playing in both deep and more advanced roles, Pajaziti made his senior debut against Tottenham Hotspur in 2019, but made his first start against Birmingham City in 2020. He’s great at controlling the tempo from the midfield and has a talent for scoring screamers from outside the box. He’s done well on loan at Haugesund and if the club doesn’t take up their option to sign him permanently, he can return with the senior experience that he needs to develop well.
2. Luke Harris
The 18-year-old attacking midfielder has been getting closer to the first team but still plays regularly at U21 level, the Welsh youth international scored 12 goals in just 17 games last season and has represented the senior team on five occasions, including three Permier League appearances. While mainly playing at CAM his goal-scoring ability is excellent and he can also play as a second striker. His dribbling and playmaking are also really good. A strong loan move will be key to his development, so the news this week that he is set to link up with Exeter City for the 2023/24 season is welcome.
3. Luc De Fougerolles
The 17-year-old has really shown his ability in his recent appearances in the Summer Series, where he replaced Kenny Tete against Brentford and played the full 90 minutes against Aston Villa. Although we haven’t seen much of him, he has displayed his ball-playing abilities as well as his composure. To do this against Premier League players on your first senior team appearances is incredible and this also shows his versatility as his main position is at left-back, but he can play on both sides of the defence. At such a young age, this shows that he has a high ceiling. What really shines from his first two games is his mentality to take setbacks in his stride, and he should be a valuable asset to Fulham.
4. Jay Stansfield
20-year-old striker Jay is the most established of this foursome. He spent last season on loan at Exeter City where he scored nine goals and racked up eight assists for the League One side. Stansfield made his debut for Fulham against Aston Villa in 2020 and has made fourmore senior appearances since then. Jay has shown his versatility on loan at Exter as he can play across the front three.
As shown by his assists, his goal-scoring is not his only ability as he also possesses great playmaking abilities. Not only did he play well for Exeter, he has also shone in the Fulham youth set-ups playing alongside Pajaziti, Harris, etc. One thing that Stansfield has against most other youth players is a wealth of senior experience which should translate decently well to the Premier League even though the jump in quality is massive from League One to the top tier. I think a loan to a Championship club is what he needs to take the next step towards being a Premier League player.