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5 things Fulham must address after securing their return to the Premier League

Fulham v Brentford – Sky Bet Championship Play Off Final – Wembley Stadium
(Image credit: Mike Egerton)

Fulham are back in the Premier League after beating Brentford 2-1 after extra-time in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five key tasks for the Cottagers ahead of the new season.

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Crystal Palace v Fulham – Premier League – Selhurst Park

Aleksandar Mitrovic struggled in the top flight (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 26 goals have fired Fulham back to the top flight, but the Serbia international needs to prove he can cut it with the best. He found the net just 11 times in the 2018/19 campaign, when the Cottagers finished 19th in the Premier League.

Ease the burden

Aston Villa v Fulham – Sky Bet Championship – Final – Wembley Stadium

Tom Cairney has chipped in but Fulham need more goals (Nigel French/PA)

Midfielder Tom Cairney was Fulham’s next highest goalscorer with eight. Boss Scott Parker needs another striker to both give support to Mitrovic and ease some of the pressure on him. A proven Premier League forward will be a priority.

Keep it clean

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Fulham’s calamitous defending was the chief reason they were relegated last time around. They managed only four clean sheets all season, and three of those came after they had been consigned to the drop. Goalkeeper Marek Rodak and defender Michael Hector helped shore things up this season and a few more shut-outs are a must.

Learn from mistakes

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A scattergun transfer policy following promotion last time around cost Fulham £100million and somehow left them with a far worse team. Jean Michael Seri and Andre Anguissa were among the expensive flops which proved throwing money around does not always pay dividends. Shrewder recruitment is needed this time around.

Take a stand

Fulham v Birmingham City – Sky Bet Championship – Craven Cottage

Construction will continue at Craven Cottage next season (Adam Davy/PA)

Craven Cottage will have only three sides with work ongoing to develop the Riverside stand, which will be ready in time for the season after next. Owner Shahid Khan says it will be a “game changer” and will be desperate for Fulham to be a Premier League club when it opens.