Fulham face a tricky task as they prepare for life in the Championship.
As well as overcoming the setback of suffering relegation, a number of last season’s first team players have moved on following the end of their loan deals, while there’s also been a rather notable change in the managerial hot-seat.
Marco Silva has come into the club as Scott Parker’s replacement and will be tasked with not only entertaining the supporters, but playing winning football that will see the Whites to promotion next season.
If he’s to do that then he’ll need players whom he knows and trusts.
Reports from the Daily Mirror have claimed that one player on the club’s radar is Will Hughes.
The Watford midfielder is a familiar face for the Portuguese head coach after working with Silva during their time together at Vicarage Road.
Hughes has been a proven performer for the Hornets at both Premier League and Championship level, meaning that there’s little doubt that he’d be an asset for any club in the top two tiers.
Newcastle United are also said to be keen on a move for the 26-year-old, and given that he has just 12 months remaining on his contract, it seems that Watford could be open to cashing in on the player for the right offer.
While Steve Bruce’s side would obviously offer a platform to play in the Premier League, a move to Craven Cottage offers precious familiarity.
Silva’s time at Watford was short-lived due to his much-publicised move to Everton, but there’s no doubt that his time at Vicarage Road was both successful and eye-catching, at least in the early days.
That spell came in the 2017-18 season and while Hughes suffered problems with injuries during that time, he quickly became a crucial component for Silva’s team when he was fit.
Hughes made just six appearances for the Hornets due to injury, however those fixtures brought him two goals and two assists as Silva very much built the Watford team around the technically-gifted midfield player.
They haven’t played together since but this could be the chance to pick things up where they left off.
Fulham will be looking for technical players to implement Silva’s style of play at Craven Cottage, and with Tom Cairney being linked with a move away, there’s a potential vacancy in the heart of the Whites’ midfield.
That relationship between Marco Silva and Will Hughes could prove to be decisive in this summer pursuit, and maybe it’ll be a crucial component in seeing the 26-year-old drop back into the Championship as he looks to become an integral player for a successful team.