West Ham Opinion: Why Aleksandar Mitrovic will be an ideal fit for West Ham
According to a report from Football.London, West Ham were linked with a January swoop for Fulham hitman Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The Serbian, 24, has been one of the rare bright sparks for Fulham in an otherwise miserable campaign in the Premier League.
Aleksandar Mitrovic has shown that he is capable of playing well at this level and there will be plenty of suitors for him if Fulham go down at the end of the season, which looks very likely after their last weekend’s defeat against Liverpool.
That being said, should West Ham plot a summer move for the 24-year-old centre-forward this summer?
Absolutely! West Ham were set to lose Marko Arnautovic to an unnamed Chinese club in January before the Austrian made a U-turn and signed a one-year contract extension at the London Stadium.
Despite penning a new contract, there’s an air of uncertainty that Arnautovic will leave the club at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, Andy Carroll is out of contract at West Ham in June and chances of him earning an extension have seemingly dried up after the 30-year-old injured his ankle once again.
Javier Hernandez has struggled this season with only eight goals in 25 games, while Lucas Perez remains out of favour under Pellegrini.
Considering West Ham’s current situation, signing a centre-forward is a must if Pellegrini is to challenge the Premier League’s Big Six next term. And Mitrovic would fit the bill perfectly at the London Stadium.
A big, burly and physical centre-forward, Mitrovic has been almost unplayable when he is on song this season. He is an old-fashioned centre-forward who excels in the holding the ball up and bringing his teammates into the game.
The 24-year-old is hard as a nail, difficult to dispossess and an all-day threat in the box.
Mitrovic is fantastic in the air and his ability to link-up play and swiftly run in the box hoping for a cross make him such a difficult player to mark. The former Anderlecht and Newcastle United man is also a composed finisher in front of goal.
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One of his biggest strengths up top is his anticipation as he drives into the box and has the ability to take a shot on from a pass or cross and find the back of the net in a blink of an eye.
Mitrovic is known for his aggression and physicality and can provide quality and depth up front for Pellegrini’s West Ham.
With Carroll’s contract expiring in June and possibility of Arnautovic leaving if a bigger club comes calling, the Hammers desperately need another forward who can cause defences problems in a physical manner.
And Pellegrini can do a lot worse than sign a Premier League proven forward, Mitrovic.
Fulham signing this £4.5m star from Leeds United should be an absolute no-brainer – Here’s why
Fulham Opinion: Adam Forshaw could be a massive coup for the Cottagers
According to the Daily Mail, Fulham are interested in signing Leeds United midfielder Adam Forshaw, with reports claiming that manager Scott Parker is keen to bolster his ranks heading into the upcoming season in the Championship.
Forshaw, who joined Leeds United from Middlesbrough for a fee of £4.5 million back in January 2018, played a key role for Marcelo Bielsa’s side in the Championship this past season, as the Whites lost out to Derby County in the playoff semi-finals.
However, Leeds are currently bracing themselves for approaches from several other clubs for some of their prized assets following their failure to secure promotion. Jack Clarke has already been lined up by Spurs as a potential summer target, while Kalvin Phillips has attracted interest from a host of other Premier League sides, including newly-promoted Aston Villa. (h/t Daily Mail)
Fulham are also going through a similar phase at the moment, with the Cottagers currently under pressure to balance the books following their relegation from the Premier League.
The Craven Cottage-based outfit are set for a massive clear-out of players this summer, with several high-profile players, including the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jean-Michael Seri, Andre Schurrle, Ryan Babel, Luciano Vietto, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, as well as, promising youngster Ryan Sessegnon all expected to leave the club.
Manager Scott Parker is faced with the task of guiding the club back to the Premier League at the first time of asking and he has seemingly started for looking for affordable alternatives to replace the big names.
While a like-for-like replacement for Mitrovic up front continues to be a priority for Fulham, they also need to look for new players in other areas of the pitch. Central midfield is one such area that certainly needs some sorting out this summer, with the departure of Seri and Anguissa an inevitability.
Fulham, of course, are expected to have the services of captain Tom Cairney at their disposal in the Championship next season after the Scotsman committed his future to the club with a long-term contract. Kevin McDonald was largely used as a fringe player in the Premier League but he was one of their key players in the Championship and the central midfielder would probably have a bigger part to play next term.
The Cottagers are also likely to have the services of Stefan Johansen right from the start of the upcoming campaign, given that the Norwegian is back at Craven Cottage following his loan spell at West Brom last term. However, someone like Adam Forshaw could possibly add that little bit more depth and quality in a crucial area of the pitch for Fulham, although Leeds are unlikely to let go of one of their key players on the cheap.
A youth graduate of Everton, who rose to prominence with Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough, Forshaw has established himself as one of the best players at Elland Road since his move from Middlesbrough in January last year. The 27-year-old made a total of 31 appearances for the Whites in the Championship this past season and was one of the key cogs of Bielsa’s midfield.
Essentially a central midfielder by trade, Forshaw is a strong, tenacious and hard-working presence in the middle of the park who excels with his impressive range of passing and ability to control possession for his team.
To add to that, he is adept at dealing with the transitions in play and cutting out attacks with crucial interventions, whilst also possessing the ability to contribute to the attack with driving runs from the midfield.
Forshaw averaged 44.7 passes per game with an accuracy percentage of 88.2 in the Championship last term, including 3.6 long balls, 0.9 key passes and 2.2 tackles, figures which speak volumes of his ability to retain possession, move the ball around and cut out attacks in the middle of the park. Moreover, his wealth of Premier League and Championship experience could prove handy for a promotion-chasing team like Fulham.
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Keeping that in mind, Fulham have every reason to look at Adam Forshaw as a marquee signing in the Championship this summer, although they still have plenty of other bases to cover before the season gets underway. All in all, the 27-year-old could be a useful addition to Fulham’s ranks.
Fulham signing this breakout 21-year-old star on loan and then permanently for £10m would be a sensible coup
Fulham Opinion: Playing a gamble on Jovane Cabral could work wonders for the Cottagers
According to claims from Portuguese newspaper Record, newly-relegated outfit Fulham have been credited with an interest in Sporting Lisbon’s breakout star Jovane Cabral, with manager Scott Parker looking to build a squad capable of securing promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
Cabral made eyeballs turn over the course of his breakthrough season at Sporting Lison in the Primeira Liga the last term, with the talented youngster contributing with 4 goals and 8 assists in 31 appearances across all competitions for the Portuguese heavyweights.
Born in Cape Verde, Cabral joined Sporting’s youth system back in 2014 and made rapid progress through the ranks before making his debut for the ‘B’ team in 2016. The youngster broke into the first-team picture at the start of the last season and featured largely as an impact player from the bench, with his impressive performances earning him rave reviews from fans and pundits alike.
Cabral featured for Cape Verde in an international friendly back in 2017 but he still remains eligible to switch his international allegiance to represent Portugal at the senior international level.
Interest in the talented 21-year-old attacker is likely to be high and Fulham have every reason to look at him as a potential transfer target this summer, as the Cottagers find themselves under pressure to balance the books after over-spending in the Premier League.
Essentially a left-winger by trade, Cabral is also capable of playing out wide on the right. Noted for his lightning pace, quick acceleration, rapid shifting of gears and direct style of play, Cabral excels with his ability to take on defenders down the flanks, whilst also boasting of a good eye for key passes in the final third.
To put things into perspective, it is not difficult to see why Fulham have registered an interest in the talented breakout star and it is pretty evident that they won’t have the same riches on offer in the Championship. The 21-year-old might take a bit of time to acclimatise to the style of play prevalent in the Championship but one would expect him to make the step up in due course of time, given his talent and potential.
Fulham find themselves under pressure to cope with the departure of several high-profile players, with the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jean Michael Seri, Andre Schurrle, Ryan Babel, Luciano Vietto and Ryan Sessegnon all looking likely to head for the exit door at Craven Cottage.
Hence, it is pretty clear that the Cottagers need to bring in a few reinforcements ahead of the upcoming campaign in order to reassemble a formidable unit capable of challenging for promotion.
The likes of Floyd Ayite and Neeskens Kebano would be expected to play a more significant role in the attack, while Aboubakar Kamara seems unlikely to return following his charges of misconduct the last term.
Fulham signed Lazar Markovic from Liverpool back in January but relying on the Serb too heavily might prove to be a mistake for the club, given his lack of involvement in recent seasons.
Jovane Cabral, on the other hand, looks more like the real deal and his arrival would add that extra bit of pace and unpredictability to Fulham’s attack.
The 21-year-old has shown in the past that he is more than capable of terrorising full-backs and the Cottagers would be very happy if he manages to replicate his stellar performances in the Championship next season.
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Having spent a fortune upon their promotion to the Premier League last summer, Fulham need to be more sensible this time around and look more bargain deals in the market. Keeping that in mind, playing a gamble on Jovane Cabral won’t be a bad idea for the Cottagers.
Forget Joe Bryan and Sessegnon – Here’s why Fulham would bag a massive coup by signing this versatile 23-year-old
Fulham Opinion: Matt Targett would be a good alternative to Joe Bryan and Sessegnon
According to Sky Sports, Fulham are interested in signing Southampton left-back Matt Targett in the summer transfer window, with reports claiming that the Cottagers are set to reignite their interest in the versatile 23-year-old.
Targett spent the second half of the 2017-18 season on loan at Fulham in the Championship and played a key role for the West London outfit, as Slavisa Jokanovic’s side beat Aston Villa in the playoff finals to secure promotion to the Premier League.
Sky Sports claims that Fulham wanted to sign Targett on a permanent basis last summer but their £5 million bid was turned down by Southampton, who were keen to retain the services of their highly-rated academy product. Instead, Fulham ended up signing Joe Bryan from Bristol City, which virtually put a full stop to their links with the Southampton man.
Bryan was one of the shining lights of the Cottagers calamitous campaign in the Premier League which ended in relegation and they face a fight to hold on to their prized asset, as Scott Parker and company prepare for a long and hard slog in the Championship next term.
Targett, on the other hand, has largely been used as a squad-rotation player at St. Mary’s since making his debut back in the 2014-15 season. A youth product of Southampton, the 23-year-old has struggled to nail down a regular starting role at his boyhood club, although he featured prominently under Ralph Hasenhuttl this past season and showed strong signs of promise.
The 23-year-old largely played as an understudy to Ryan Bertrand in that left wing-back role but he still managed a total of 21 appearances in all competitions, scoring once and assisting a further 3 in the process. Targett, who is equally adept at playing left-back and further up the pitch as a wing-back or a winger, has made a total of 63 appearances for the Saints in all competitions till date.
To put things into perspective, Fulham need to bring in a specialist left-sided player this summer if they lose the services of Joe Bryan to Newcastle. Targett’s talent and potential in the Premier League haven’t gone unnoticed and he does, indeed, fit the bill at Craven Cottage, although it remains to be seen whether or not he would be open to the prospect of playing regularly in the Championship.
Fulham are set for a massive clear-out of players this summer following their relegation from the top-flight given that they need to cut down their expenses and balance the books. They are at risk of losing several of their highly-rated first-team stars, including the likes of Aleksandar Mitrovic, Jean Michael Seri, Andre Schurrle, Ryan Sessegnon and a few others.
Sessegnon has been linked with a move to several Premier League clubs and his potential departure would leave the Cottagers short of cover on the left-hand side of the pitch. And now, with Joe Bryan also linked with a move away, Fulham find themselves under pressure to dip into the market for alternatives.
Targett is versatile enough to shoulder both offensive and defensive responsibilities effectively given his good understanding of the game and well-rounded passing and crossing attributes. Fulham still have the services of Maxine Le Marchand as an orthodox left-back but one can get the feeling that someone like Targett would offer a lot more in terms of attack.
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The 23-year-old is held in high regard at Southampton, and with Hasenhuttl showing an inclination to sue him more regularly, the Saints are unlikely to let him depart on the cheap. However, that should stop Fulham from using their financial muscle to test their resolve, as they look to secure promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.
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