- Premier League
- EFL Championship
- Other Top Clubs
- Scout Reports
Fulham played out a draw on the opening day of the Championship season against Norwich City and did so in familiar style, i.e. taking the lead at home but not seeing the game out for three points.
One game is too early to judge everything, but it did rather feel as though little had changed at Craven Cottage over the summer. While some of that is positive, the retention of players such as Kalas, Sessegnon and Cairney for example, things need to change if they are to improve their position.
That position come last May was that they sneaked into the playoffs via sixth place and so regardless of their form in the final third of the campaign; it’s a position which cannot make them favourites for promotion this time.
Furthermore, influential attacking left-back Scott Malone has left the club and it’s on that side of the pitch where the immediate problem may lie. The trouble is, it’s hard to know which position actually needs a change.
Malone was excellent last term and it meant that when Ryan Sessegnon broke into the team, he played in an advanced position on the wing. He was brilliant there, baffling defenders and making them look stupid. It appeared then that his days as a fullback were already behind him. However, with plenty of forwards on the books it seems Slavisa Jokanovic wants to keep Sessegnon back there.
Neeskens Kebano started on the left against Norwich and with the likes of Lucas Piazon also in the squad, the club may be unwilling to sign another similar type of player. The trouble is that when you have lots of options in one position, it tends to mean that none of them are outstanding and I think that’s where Fulham sit now.
The question is, do they sign a new winger to improve their chances in front of goal, or a Malone replacement to allow Sessegnon the freedom to move forward?
I hate to think that, but the manager may want the former option while I would love to see the latter. Like Gareth Bale, players often start out in defensive or deeper positions but the brutal fact is that professional football is much like school football in many ways – the better kids play up front.
Sessegnon has proper talent and frankly, it’s being wasted at the back for Fulham. He should be playing on the left of their 4-2-3-1 in behind the front man and so any money the club spend between now and the deadline should be on a left-back as far as I’m concerned.