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Chelsea loanee Lucas Piazon has now returned to first-team training with Fulham, after having recovered from his broken leg. But what will that mean for Fulham’s other attackers? For Ryan Sessegnon, probably not very much since he keeps having to play at left-back anyway, but for others, the increased competition means someone will get less game time but a lot depends on which system Slavisa Jokanovic decides to use.
The Brazilian forward suffered the injury during the 0-0 draw with Leeds back in August, just after re-signing for the club from their near neighbours on another loan deal.
Piazon was looking good too; scoring against both Reading in the league and against Wycombe Wanderers in the league cup during a very good period as he looked to be heading in the right way towards playing Premier League football.
The 23-year-old seemed to be very much one of the manager’s main men for this season and no doubt Jokanovic will be over the moon to have him back as an option, although it will still take a little while to complete the recovery from the leg break.
Piazon likes to start on the left of the attack, taking on defenders and cutting inside on to his right foot. With that in mind, Sheyi Ojo may not worry too much and frankly, Rui Fonte should only be used as a central striker. So in theory, he and Piazon could always play together.
The issues lie with Jokanovic not playing Sessegnon in his rightful position, and also with giving game time to Floyd Ayite, Neeskens Kebano, Aboubakar Kamara and Yohan Mollo.
In all honesty, Kamara wants to play up front anyway so he shouldn’t really be affected by Piazon’s return, other than positively, though the other three have all played out on the left in one role or another. They are definitely vulnerable to the Brazilian’s talents.
Mollo would be the weakest of the three and is likely to end up with extended periods of time in the reserves or playing no appreciable football whatsoever. So he may be one who could exit soon enough.
Ayite and Kebano have been trusted by the boss so will want to stick around, though some bench time or a switch in position to the right when Ojo is not available may be on the cards in order to accommodate them and Piazon. It’ll be interesting to see what the boss does over the next few weeks.