Fulham football club is the oldest established football club in London to have played the Premier League. Better known as the Cottagers, they play their home matches at Craven Cottage.
Fulham is owned by the Pakistani-American Billionaire businessman Shahid 'Shad' Khan after he bought over the club in the month of July'13. After a poor start during the 2013-2014 EPL campaign, a loss to Stoke City on the final day of the 2013-2014 season saw them finally relegated to the Championship.
The Cottagers struggled the following two seasons and finished 17th and 20th respectively. Once a Europa League finalist in 2010, it was hard for the East Londoners to see one of their favourite clubs reeling in the EFL Championship for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 season.
After yet another overhaul in the year 2016, the club saw improvement both in terms of performances and results in the 2016-2017 season. It was unfortunate to see them losing to a controversial penalty against Reading in the playoffs.
The 2017-2018 season was not different but the final outcome was. They once again had to play the playoffs to qualify to the top tier of English football for two consecutive years.
This time, Fulham won the EFL Championship playoff against Aston Villa and marked their return to the Premier League on 26 May 2018, after securing their first win at Wembley in their 139 year history. A Tom Cairney first-half strike was enough for the Cottagers fan to sing 'We are going Up! Say, We are going up!'. Indeed they are!
With the Premier League 2018-2019 season about to undergo in a fortnight's time and the transfer window to close on the 9th of August, Fulham has already had the signatures of midfielder Jean Michael Seri, defender Maxime Le Marchand, goalkeeper Fabri and forward Andre Schurrle.
Fulham will definitely not start the season as a favourite to be relegated. With Fulham required to rope in a striker before the start of the season, it is important to see where Aleksandar Mitrovic ends up playing.
Talks are understood to be continuing over a deal to bring the striker back to Craven Cottage on a permanent deal this summer. I see that happening before the start of the season with Rafa Benitez not in favour of the striker.
The Cottagers are required to put £18m on the table to grab the signature of Mitrovic. Mitrovic scored 12 goals in 20 matches while on loan at Fulham last season.
However, the first double signing of Seri and Maxime for Fulham showed the intent Slavisa Jokanovic had in the transfer market.
Jean Michael Seri had been instrumental for Nice in their midfield. A box-to-box midfielder, Seri brings in the dynamism in midfield to favour the counter-attacking football Jokanovic would expect his team to showcase against bigger opponents.
Whether Jokanovic plays a 3-5-2 formation or a 4-2-3-1 formation, Seri would be the pivotal cog in their midfield. His stats definitely say so.
With 0.8 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 2.1 key passes and 90.4% passing accuracy per game for Nice last season, Seri has also scored two goals and assisted for five goals. I expect Seri to play beside their club captain Tom Cairney in front of their deep-lying defensive midfielder Kevin McDonald.
Maxime Le Marchand - The French international has joined by his Nice teammate Seri in Fulham. Maxime can play both in a centre back and left back position. Expect Maxime to pair up Ream as a Fulham's centre-back pair when the Premier League begins.
Fabricio Agosto Ramirez 'Fabri' was the third summer signing for Fulham. Bought at a price of around $6.57m, the two time Super Lig goalkeeper of the season will bring in assurance at the back and experience of playing at the top flight of club football.
Fulham has signed the former Borussia Dortmund forward on a two-season loan. He has the experience of playing in the Premier League with Chelsea. A World Cup winner, Andre has scored 22 goals in 57 games for Germany and claimed the assist for Mario Gotze's extra-time goal that won the 2014 World Cup final.
With the Mitrovic deal to be finalized before the transfer window closes, Slavisa Jokanovic has given a statement of intent to all the Fulham fans and all the reasons to be optimistic going into their season opener against Crystal Palace. Here is the predicted line up for their season opener against Crystal Palace: