A Season In Review: Fulham


In this series of 20 articles, we take a look back at the Premier League season, focusing on each team individually. We take a look at transfer window activity, managerial changes, and key points throughout the season.

Check out the last edition here, featuring Everton!

Transfer Windows

Fulham barely faced any losses in the transfer window, but the two players that did leave left a big hole. Fabio Carvalho, one of the best young players in The Championship the season before, and one of Fulham’s better performers, got a dream move to Liverpool

Also on the move, was Frank Anguissa, who left Fulham for Italian giants Napoli. These two departures left big boots to fill.

Fulham made use of the loan market throughout the season, which is not surprising for a newly promoted club. They brought in Kurzawa from PSG, Manor Solomon from Shakhtar Donetsk, and a trio of Premier League players, Cedric from Arsenal, Shane Duffy from Brighton and Dan James from Leeds all arriving on loan.

Joining them was Brazilian, and former Chelsea winger, Willian, who arrived on a free transfer. Fulham also invested a fair amount of money into the squad. They dipped into Arsenal’s squad again, this time bringing in Leno on a permanent transfer.

They strengthened their defensive ranks further by bringing in Issa Diop from West Ham, and Kevin Mbabu from Wolfsburg. Further up the pitch, Carlos Vinicius arrived from Benfica to help offload some of the pressure on Mitrovic’s shoulders.

Finally, the midfield had some heavy investment. Palhinha joined from Sporting CP, whilst Sasa Lukic arrived from Torino, and Andreas Pereira made the switch from Man United to the London-based club.

Fulham performed admirably in the transfer windows. They got their key players in and took some risks on some more unknown players, which eventually worked out for them. They strengthened an already strong squad, only losing 2 players from their promotion-winning team.

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Key Games

Fulham had some brilliant results throughout the season, as they performed well against the teams around them, such as Brighton and Brentford, whilst their games against the top 6 were mostly close-knit affairs, settled by the odd goal.

I think the turning point for Fulham was their first game after the World Cup break. By this point, they had won 5 of their first 15 league fixtures, and they returned to action with an away game against Crystal Palace.

Decordova-Reid took the lead at Selhurst Park just after the half-hour mark to give the visitors the lead. Fulham were given a numerical advantage when Crystal Palace’s Mitchell got sent off 3 minutes later, which increased further as James Tomkins received a second yellow card shortly after the half-time break.

With Crystal Palace down to 9 men, Fulham exploited the space and made their chances count. Tim Ream made it 2-0 with 19 minutes to go, and 8 minutes later, Mitrović got his goal to seal the points, with a 3-0 win.

This win then spurred them on to win their next 3 games. A 2-1 home win against a struggling Southampton side, a 1-0 away win against Leicester, and a big 2-1 win at home against London rivals Chelsea.

For a newly promoted side, they had a brilliant season, and this stretch of results certainly helped them gain confidence and helped them on their way to a mid-table finish.

Cup Competitions

Carabao Cup

Fulham entered the Carabao Cup in the second round, with an away game against League Two side Crawley Town. Fulham decided to rotate their team, but still go relatively strong, with a mixture of youth and experience involved in the squad.

It was a game to forget, however, for Fulham, as Tom Nichols and James Balagizi sent the home side into the third round with a surprise 2-0 win. It was a poor performance from Fulham, especially considering they only managed one shot on target throughout the game. An embarrassingly early exit.

FA Cup

Fulham’s FA Cup run proved to be a bit more fruitful than their Carabao Cup one. They entered the competition in the third round with an away tie against Hull City. A first-half Kurzawa goal and a 94th-minute Dan James goal sent Fulham through to the fourth round.

Their reward for overcoming Hull was another game against a Championship side, this time Sunderland. Jack Clarke gave the away side an early lead in the 6th minute, but Fulham veteran Tom Cairney equalised for the home side, taking the tie to a replay.

At The Stadium of Light, Harry Wilson opened the scoring after 8 minutes for Fulham, before Pereira doubled their lead shortly after halftime. Sunderland hit back through Jack Clarke, but Kurzawa restored Fulham’s 2-goal lead with 8 minutes to go.

There was still time for a bit of late drama as Jewison Bennette pulled one back again for Sunderland, but Fulham saw the victory out and gained a spot in the fifth round, where they were handed a home tie against Leeds United.

This match went more smoothly than their last, as Fulham won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Palhinha and Manor Solomon. The result sent them into the quarter-finals where they met Man United at Old Trafford.

The first half went by before the game exploded to life in the second half. 5 minutes after the restart, Mitrovic opened the scoring for Fulham, giving them the lead. After 72 minutes, all hell broke loose.

Willian blocked a Sancho effort on the line, which VAR looked at. Whilst the incident replayed on the pitch-side screen, Marco Silva the Fulham manager got sent off. After reviewing the incident, Willian received a straight red card.

As the referee made his way back onto the pitch, Mitrovic vented his frustration, and after shoving the referee, he also received a straight red card, reducing Fulham to 9 men, and being without their manager.

Bruno Fernandes stepped up to the spot to equalise, before Sabitzer put United in the lead 2 minutes later. Fernandes ensured the result, making it 3-1 in the 96th minute, controversially knocking Fulham out of the competition in one of the more fiery encounters of the season.

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Season Overall

Overall, it was a brilliant first season back in the Premier League for Fulham. They finally got Mitrovic to adjust to the Premier League, scoring 14 goals for them, as he helped fire them to a comfortable mid-table finish.

They have set the foundations for them to push on and further up the table in the coming seasons. The base of their squad is strong, and with a few good additions in some key areas, they could be looking at Europe again.

Their run in the Carabao Cup was poor. The two domestic cups, for Fulham, are a good chance at silverware. They will not be winning the Premier League anytime soon, so their performances in both cups are vital.

As long as Fulham do not start selling key players and sliding down the table, this team could be going somewhere. They were entertaining to watch last season, and I hope that continues into next season.

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