Fulham, once an admirable English force, had years of struggle before being demoted to the second tier back in 2014. There they had a couple of dreadful campaigns as well. However, the appointment of Slavisa Jokanovic as their new boss did the trick who sensationally uplifted them to grab the final promotional playoff spot in his very first season in charge.
Although they failed to earn a promotion that term, the Cottagers looked like a rejuvenated force with promises of a better 2017-18 season. And they did not disappoint – the London outfit made it to the playoffs once again and defeated Derby County in the semis (over two legs) followed by a 1-0 win against Aston Villa in the Wembley final which saw them returning to the Premier League after four years.
Fulham, meanwhile, will have a busy summer to enhance the quality of the squad to cope up with Premier League challenge and as per reports from French outlet L’Equipe, they are keen on Auxerre youngster Lamine Fomba who will be entering the final year of his contract next month. The 20-year-old former French U18 international made six senior appearances this term for the Ligue 2 outfit and made two assists in due course.
Jokanovic, who has developed so many youngsters during his managerial tenure, seems to have scouted a new name to strengthen his midfield and Fomba, the young central midfielder, is likely to experience Premier League football in the upcoming campaign. He was previously linked to a move to Tottenham Hotspur but opted to sign his first professional contract for the French outfit.
The Cottagers have an array of central midfield options like Tom Cairney, Kevin McDonald and Stefan Johansen who were massive in their promotion. But Ibrahima Cisse, the summer signing from Standard Liege failed to earn a place in Fulham midfield. Oliver Norwood is set to return to his parent club Brighton & Hove Albion upon completion of his season-long loan spell, therefore, leaving the midfield quite shallow for Premier League football.
Fomba holds a strong physical presence and loves to operate in a ‘number six’ role as a deep-lying playmaker. He shields the defence, blocks opponent’s moves and tries to build the game up from a deeper role in the middle of the park.
He is not expected to start games if a move takes place, however, his presence will indeed add values to the bench which lack enough options for a long season ahead. Jokanovic is tipped to add more established names in midfield later this window but a promising prodigy like Fomba holds a glaring future if groomed properly and handed senior minutes to exhibit his quality.