Fulham boss Marco Silva believes Jean Michael Seri has benefitted majorly from his arrival at Craven Cottage this summer – and praised the midfielder’s performances in pre-season.
The 30-year-old arrived from Nice back in 2018 after the Cottagers were forced to fend off interest from some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs – and made a respectable 32 top-flight appearances in his first season despite not being able to save the west London side from the drop.
But with their relegation, the Ivorian was sent out on loan to Galatasaray during the 2019/20 campaign, rarely getting a chance under former Fulham manager Scott Parker after that and being shipped out on another temporary spell to Bordeaux earlier this year.
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This has limited Seri to just five competitive appearances for the English side since the end of his first campaign at Craven Cottage – and looked to be on his way out permanently this summer with just one year remaining on his contract.
But after former boss Parker’s departure to AFC Bournemouth earlier in the summer and Marco Silva coming in as his successor, the 30-year-old has been given a new lease of life in the capital.
He started in the Championship side’s second game of the league season against Huddersfield Town at the weekend – and may be a regular for the Cottagers from now amid Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa’s wish to leave the club.
Speaking about Seri and his recent progress to West London Sport, manager Silva said: “A new manager came, of course, and in pre-season well he did really well.
“Mika didn’t do so many games in recent seasons; (no) 90 minutes week-in, week-out. And when that happens you are not used to playing with the intensity I want.
“But he worked hard in the last week, and that’s why I started with him – he deserved it.
“Now he needs more games to get him in the best possible condition.
“I’m not in the best position to talk about what happened in the past, but Mika is getting his chance and if he does well the fans will be happy with him.”
After rarely seeing him in a Fulham shirt in the past couple of years, it’s great to see Fulham utilise him again and especially in the Championship where he could prove to be the key to promotion.
He may be regretting not joining another interested Premier League during the summer of 2018 – but he seems to have found a bit of stability under Marco Silva and remaining with Fulham could be a better option for him than going out on loan again.
The second-tier side hold the option of triggering an automatic one-year extension on his contract, something that could come in handy if he thrives under the Portuguese boss this season and from there, he could potentially be a great option to have in the Premier League in the next season or two if they achieve promotion.
And Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa remaining at the club could also be a major boost for the west London side if they return to the top flight, although Harrison Reed will be a decent option for Silva to have alongside Seri for the next season or more if the Cameroonian moves on.
Many Fulham fans will be hoping Seri remains at the club beyond the end of the transfer window – and it’s looking likely they will with the 30-year-old firmly in the club’s first-team plans.