Tim Ream has started every single Championship game this season for Fulham and has been a key cog in sealing automatic promotion back to the Premier League.
The 34-year-old has made 252 appearances for Fulham in total and is edging closer to the end of his contract this summer.
Promotion to the Premier League could make Ream’s future more secure in needing his experience around the dressing room, but alternatively may see the club be more ambitious in building a defensive line for the step up.
The American had his say on the situation after promotion was confirmed when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “Tonight (Tuesday evening’s 3-0 win over Preston North End) changes things for sure.
“Up until tonight, I was not really sure what was going to happen.
“But I’ll let that come out when it comes out.
“I don’t want to say too much because it’s a little bit too fresh.”
There are not a lot of conclusions that can be drawn from his comments, but suggesting that it is “too fresh” would hint that a decision has already been come to.
Tosin Adarabioyo has improved markedly for playing alongside Ream this season, although it does feel like a good opportunity for the 34-year-old to go out on a high.
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To hazard a guess, despite the comments not confirming anything, it does feel like this is the end of the road in Ream’s Fulham career.
He would be far more likely to reveal his desire to stay at the club and continue next term, if progressive discussions had taken place off the pitch, avoiding the question does hint towards no future agreement being struck.
Taking sentiment away from the situation, as long as adequate depth is recruited in the centre back position, it would not be a terrible decision to allow Ream to depart at this stage and to prioritise finding a suitable partner for Adarabioyo in the top-flight next term.
Time will tell, with four games remaining for Ream to try and start all 46 league games in 2021/22.