Fulham have continued their fantastic transfer window with the signing of Swansea City centre-back Alfie Mawson for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £15 million. It has been a quite incredible transfer window for Fulham as they prepare for their first season back in the top flight after a four-year absence.
It could have been a disastrous summer for Fulham had they not beaten Aston Villa in the playoff final last May. Key players like Tom Cairney and Ryan Sessegnon, as well as manager Slavisa Jokanovic, would surely have been linked with big-money exits from Craven Cottage had they been preparing for another season in the Championship.
But that was not the case. Cairney himself scored the only goal at Wembley to take Fulham to the promised land of top-flight football and now with less than a week until the big kick-off, the Cottagers have assembled a quite incredible squad.
Most Fulham fans would’ve been pleased enough with a new goalkeeper, a defender or two but above all, the permanent signing of striker Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Newcastle United man joined the club on loan in January last season and helped catapult his new side to the top flight with 12 goals in 20 matches. But back in April, even Jokanovic was unsure whether the club could secure his signature.
“I don’t know what will happen in the future,” Jokanovic said back in April.
“I know he is really happy with the team, with the club, with the city and for another side, he knows I am satisfied with the level he offers us.
“If you ask if they want to stay it’s probably a yes, but in realistic life, we are going to see. This job is for another side and not under my control.”
Well, it may not have been in Jokanovic’s control but Fulham got the deal done when they completed the permanent signing of Mitrovic in a £22 million deal on 30 July.
Goalkeeper Fabricio was brought in from Besiktas and Maxime Le Marchand was signed for defensive reinforcement. Many Fulham fans would have called that a fantastic transfer window but that was before the Cottagers completed one of the most surprising deals of the summer, the capture of Jean-Michel Seri from OGC Nice for a fee believed to be in the region of £25 million.
Seri was close to joining FC Barcelona last season and has been a rumoured target for Arsenal and Chelsea in recent years but the Cottagers got it done.
Fulham also brought in the former Chelsea and Wolfsburg winger Andre Schurrle on a two-year loan deal from Borussia Dortmund. The 27-year-old has scored 22 goals in his 57 appearances for Germany.
This incredible run of spending has continued with the news that Fulham have completed the transfer of centre-back Alfie Mawson from Swansea City.
The 24-year-old made 71 appearances for the Swans in two seasons and earned an England call-up back in March of this year.
He was born just 15 miles away from Craven Cottage and has signed a four-year contract for a fee believed to be in the region of £15 million.
“I’m really happy to get this over the line and join Fulham,” Mawson told the club’s official website.
“I’m excited by the project going on here and the football being played last season was lovely on the eye but also effective and I can’t wait to be a part of it and get going.
“I’m excited to be a part of this great Club moving forward and to help achieve success in the Premier League.”
Mawson could prove to be a shrewd acquisition for Fulham. The defender was on the cusp of the England national team last season despite playing for a side which was ultimately relegated.
The former Barnsley man is a ball-playing defender who will suit Jokanovic’s style of play well. Mawson will act as something of a leader at the back and could develop into a top-class player under his new manager.
It perhaps speaks to the strength of the Premier League that even after all of these signings, Fulham are still amongst the most likely sides to be relegated next season. They are the third-favourites after Cardiff City and Huddersfield to spend just a year in the top flight at 15/8 on Betway as of 3 August.
It will prove difficult for Fulham to stay in the Premier League in their big return to the top flight. There are so many other competitive teams around Slavisa Jokanovic’s side but they have recruited well. The team has a new spine with Fabricio, Mawson, Seri and Mitrovic as well as Andre Schurrle on the wing. If these players perform as expected then there is no reason why the Cottagers won’t beat the drop.