After five Championship games, Marco Silva’s Fulham sit at the top of the tree with fellow recently relegated side West Brom trailing behind them on goal difference.
This might not be any real shock with their summer business and the fact they managed to retain the core of their squad from last season – but their performances have been convincing and they have coped with high expectations extremely well.
Considering where they were just a couple of months ago with the saga surrounding former manager Scott Parker and his future, it’s almost like that disruption never happened and the Cottagers are well on their way to achieving promotion from the Championship.
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In the long-term, it will be about ensuring get away from being a team that’s too good for the Championship, yet too weak for the Premier League.
But right now, Fulham fans are enjoying life under Marco Silva and their £12m signing of Harry Wilson last month was a real statement of intent to the rest of the league, especially with many clubs opting to spending cautiously, Covid-19 continuing to affect clubs financially and EFL profit and sustainability rules to abide by.
The arrivals of Paulo Gazzaniga and Rodrigo Muniz are not to be sniffed at either – but there could be one or two further arrivals in the next few days to cap off what has been a successful window thus far – although one potential high-profile departure could take the gloss off a bright summer.
Ahead of the next 48 hours, we take a look at two transfer scenarios you should be looking out for at Craven Cottage.
Movement on Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa
Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa has made it clear to Fulham officials he wants to leave the club during the window, the main reason why he was left out of the Cottagers’ squad against Middlesbrough on the opening game.
He was on the bench for last weekend’s game against Stoke City, probably a good idea to keep him in and around the first team just in case he remains at the club beyond the end of the month.
But with Harrison Reed, Josh Ononmah and a rejuvenated Jean Michael Seri as options Marco Silva can utilise, we may see Anguissa leave the club in the next couple of days, whether it’s a permanent deal or on loan.
With the Cameroonian still having two years left on his contract though, the west London side could potentially demand a sizeable fee for his services, depending on how much they want to keep him regardless of his wish to leave.
However, they may decide to negotiate a cut-price deal to soften the financial blow of the Harry Wilson deal and get an unhappy player off their books.
There’s been no shortage of interest in the 25-year-old and Napoli are reportedly in discussions over a potential loan move, so it would be no surprise to see him leave Craven Cottage imminently despite manager Silva’s wish to retain him.
Clucas in as a replacement?
At the end of last month, the Daily Mail reported that Fulham were set to sign Swansea City captain Matt Grimes, with Steve Cooper’s resignation playing a part in that.
However, it has since been revealed by The Sun journalist Alan Nixon that the two sides are yet to agree a fee – and a fresh bid for his services from Fulham has also been rejected as per The Athletic (22:45, August 29th).
Although they will want to retain their captain regardless of the Flynn Downes signing, the former Ipswich man’s arrival in Wales may persuade the Championship side to cash in on the 26-year-old due to the fact he has less than 12 months remaining on his current deal.
It’s currently unclear whether he would be tempted to sign fresh terms at Swansea – but with Bournemouth and Fulham both sniffing around and the Swans unlikely to be fighting at the top of the Championship whilst they develop under Russell Martin – Grimes may feel it’s time to move if he wants Premier League football in the short-term.
Bournemouth have a good chance of going up under Scott Parker – but it’s the Cottagers that are currently in pole position to reach the top flight and if Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa leaves the club – it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see some of that money reinvested in Grimes.
Things would probably move very quickly on the Swansea City midfielder if Anguissa secures a permanent departure, so this is one to keep an eye on.