After an excellent start to the season, things have started to take a slight turn for the worse for Fulham in recent weeks.
Monday night’s 1-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United means that the Cottagers are now winless in their last five outings, piling the pressure on them in the race for automatic promotion.
Admittedly, Marco Silva’s side do still sit top of the Championship table, but that recent run, combined with results elsewhere, means their lead over the play-offs has now dropped to just three points.
As a result, Fulham’s previously significant margin for error has now been reduced to next to none, and you get the feeling that this recent run, has highlighted one issue that Fulham may need to address in the upcoming January transfer window.
During this run of five games without a win that Fulham currently find themselves on, Aleksandar Mitrovic has scored just once, contrasting with the 21 goals he had scored in the Cottagers’ previous 18 league games this season.
Which club did Fulham sell these 26 players to?
Consequentially, the need for potential centre forward cover for Mitrovic in January should he not snap out of this dip in form, or pick up an injury that keep him out long term, is arguably becoming more apparent.
Including that one goal scored by Mitrovic, Fulham have found the net just three times during this five game winless, with their other two strikes in that time coming from centre backs in the form of Tosin Adarabioyo and Tim Ream.
Given those sorts of players cannot be relied upon to make an impact in front of goal week in week out, it may well be the case that Fulham need to bring in someone in January to do that, at those times when Mitrovic is not at his usually unstoppable best.
While Fulham do have other centre forward options in the form of Rodrigo Muniz and Jay Stansfield, at 20 and 19-years-old respectively, you feel the pressure of leading the line in an under fire promotion push would be a lot to put on the shoulder of such inexperienced players.
Indeed, with just three goals in his 11 league games so far, it seems that while Muniz undoubtedly posseses potential that could make him an asset for years to come, it seems such a challenge may be too soon for him during this time around.
You feel therefore, that Fulham could be leaving themselves somewhat exposed up top, if they were not to bring a more established centre forward with a proven ability to score at this level, to provide back-up for Mitrovic in January.
Considering the fees they were able to spend in January, you do get the feeling that they ought to be able to fund such a move as well once the market reopens.
If they don’t do that, then recent form suggests that they could be taking a risk of this dip of the past few weeks, developing into a major , and avoidable, missed opportunity when it comes to their pursuit of a swift return to the big time of the Premier League.