Fulham are back in the Premier League having defeated London rivals Brentford 2-1 in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the state of play at Craven Cottage ahead of another step up to English football’s top tier.
How much did Fulham’s promotion cost?
Fulham had little choice but to plan their Championship campaign around a clutch of astute loan deals, having been relegated despite spending £100million for their abortive 2018/19 Premier League campaign. Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockaert commanded sizeable fees for their loan arrivals – but the Whites have since completed permanent deals for the two forwards. Michael Hector’s move from Chelsea was understood to have reached £5million, but beyond that Scott Parker’s transfer dealings were more a question of recovery that outlay. Cavaleiro’s permanent switch from Wolves is understood to have reached £15million including the loan fee, while deals for Knockaert and Bobby Decordova Reid are in the region of a combined £16million. The bulk of that cost has been spread onto the new season however, and promotion to the Premier League doubtless eases the financial burden.
What will Fulham need to add to be competitive at Premier League level?
Goals from midfield – in fact goals from anyone other than Aleksandar Mitrovic. Fulham’s Serbia hitman was the only Whites man to notch double figures in the Championship. Winger Neeskens Kebano ended up fifth on the club’s goals list, despite only breaking a 35-match barren run dating back to December 2017 on July 18. Fulham could do with an extra creative hand in the centre of the pitch too. But Premier League-level goals and assists are the two chief assets being chased by every side in England’s top tier.
What kind of buying power will boss Scott Parker have now?
Fulham will surely have learned from their last foray into the Premier League, that when it comes to recruitment, there can definitely be too much too soon. The Whites spent £100million on seven recruits for the 2018/19 top-flight campaign, only to tumble straight back to the Championship. The hurried assembly of that squad left new faces and old hands struggling to gel, so much so that big-money recruits like Jean Michael Seri and Andre Franck Anguissa entirely bombed out. Mitrovic was able to provide 11 Premier League goals and lay on three assists, but beyond that Fulham’s recruits never fully fired. So while Fulham will have solid backing from owner Shahid Khan, the Whites will certainly be eyeing evolution not revolution this time around.
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