Can Marco Silva’s Fulham buck recent trend and stay in the Premier League?

Marco Silva has guided Fulham back to the Premier League at the drop of a hat with four games to spare.

It is the club’s third promotion in five seasons, with their previous two campaigns in the top flight ending in relegation.

Here, the PA news agency looks at whether Fulham can survive in the Premier League next term.

Have you learned from last time?

Fulham were relegated in their last campaign in the top flight

Fulham were relegated in their last campaign in the top flight (Adam Davy/PA)

The last time Fulham secured promotion, they rose to the top flight confident they had learned from the disastrous 2018-19 season, when they spent over £100m on new players, many of whom didn’t seem to fit in, and had three different trainers in charge. . But despite a more determined campaign, they struggled to score goals, scoring just 27 times and finishing 11 points from safety.

Will scoring goals be a problem this time?

Not if they transfer their form from this season. They have scored 98 goals so far, 33 more than second-placed Bournemouth. Striker Aleksandar Mitrovic has now scored a record 40 goals, while Harry Wilson reached double figures and in his previous season in the top flight scored seven goals for Bournemouth.

But can they reproduce that in the Premier League?

Mitrovic scored just three league goals last season

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored just three league goals last season (Adam Davy/PA)

That is the key question. Mitrovic managed just three in his last Premier League campaign and was often isolated, while only Sheffield United finished with fewer goals than Fulham’s 27. But the dynamic system Silva has produced should see Fulham offer more threats next. year. And Silva has averaged 1.3 goals per game during his previous spells in the Premier League with Hull, Watford and Everton.

Can the defense cope?

They have the second tightest defense in the division, but will face much tougher opposition next term. Silva’s teams have conceded 153 goals in 95 Premier League games with him in charge, and he will need to show he can set up a side that can pose a threat in attack and keep him tight at the back in the top tier of the game. English football. .

Is Silva the right man for a Premier League campaign?

Silva has undoubtedly won over Fulham fans with his entertaining football and the 44-year-old Portuguese will be eager to prove himself again in the Premier League, where he has enjoyed impressive results for his former clubs. However, each of those spells was relatively short-lived and he will be eager to prove that he belongs in the top flight.

Will they need to add to their squad?

Promoted teams always need new signings, and Fulham may also need to replace some key players. Fabio Carvalho looks set to move at the end of the season when his current contract expires and he has been linked to Liverpool. Loanee Neco Williams will return to Anfield, while Neeskens Kebano, Tim Ream and Jean Michael Seri are out of contract.

So will they survive this time?

Fulham will need to be smart in the transfer market and hope Silva’s style proves effective at a higher level. But they seem, at this early stage, to be better prepared than in either of their last two visits to the top flight.

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