Fulham have had some season – 98 goals (40 for Aleksander Mitrovic alone) 26 wins and some incredibly consistent and stunning performances throughout the campaign.
But as they celebrate an instant return to the top-flight, they are now faced with the question that has plagued them for the last five years – can they survive more than just one season in the Premier League?
The personnel of the squad this time out will make a huge difference and, despite his heroics this season, Mitrovic has faltered at the top level on the last two occasions.
During Fulham’s most recent top-flight stint in 2020-21, it wasn’t the Serbian who was the sides’ top scorer but Bobby Decordova-Reid with just five goals.
Despite his recent history in the Premier League, Mitrovic has surely earned the right to feature heavily next season and head coach Marco Silva will need to continue to maximise his number nine’s abilities.
However, with wonderkid Fabio Carvalho seemingly bound for Liverpool in a deal worth a reported £5m plus add ons, Silva will need to add Premier League quality to the squad.
Fulham have eight players out of contract at the end of this season with Silva likely to try and retain the services of Jean Michael Seri and Neeskens Kebano, who have both had stellar seasons for the Cottagers.
Defenders Tim Ream, Michael Hector and Alfie Mawson are also free agents in the summer with the ever-popular Ream the most likely to be kept around in the dressing room even if he only makes a handful of cameos next term.
Elsewhere, youngsters Steven Sessegnon and Tyrese Francois have both been starved of game time during most of their tenure at Craven Cottage and will likely be allowed to leave the club.
As for incoming personnel, Fulham have been linked with a £5.8m move for Internacional winger Caio Vidal with the 21-year-old also attracting attention from Fiorentina and Getafe.
Meanwhile, reports suggest Israeli international winger Manor Solomon is an all but done deal with the 22-year-old apparently looking to secure a move away from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk.
Another rumoured link is Blackburn Rovers and England U20 midfielder Tyrhys Dolan, who has attracted interest from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Brighton and West Ham United.
Dolan has shown flashes of real quality for Blackburn this season and could be a dynamic young addition to any Premier League side should he find his current club unable to get there via the Play-Offs.
At the other end of the pitch, Fulham have once again been linked with current West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who is on loan from PSG after the Frenchman had a brilliant loan stint at Fulham during the 2020-21 campaign despite their resultant relegation.
Certainly having a reliable name between the sticks when you’re battling for survival can be the difference between staying up and going down and Burnley’s Nick Pope is another name that has been mentioned if the managerless Clarets go down – with the goalkeeper keen to remain at the highest level to be in contention for England’s World Cup squad this winter.
FC Koln defender Timo Hubers, who has made 15 appearances for the Bundesliga side this season is also reportedly being looked at, as is Liverpool and England defender Joe Gomez.
At one point the 24-year-old was an almost guaranteed starter at Anfield but has dropped down the pecking order as that spot next to the omnipotent Virgil van Dijk has been held down by either Joel Matip or Ibrahim Konate.
Fulham will also be hoping to secure Liverpool team-mate Neco Williams on a permanent basis, who has impressed since his January loan move, but getting one of the two, let alone both would be an ambitious move.
Speaking of ambition, Fulham have reportedly joined the race to sign 27-year-old AC Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli, whose contract is due to expire at the end of the season.
Silva clearly has defensive solidity as one of his top priorities and if the rumours are to be believed, Fulham could be looking at a back four of Antonee Robinson/Ola Aina, Gomez, Tosin Adarabioyo and Williams/Kenny Tete with Nick Pope in goal.
In midfield the tenacious Harrison Reed will likely remain alongside Seri should Silva keep hold of him and either club captain Tom Cairney or Nathaniel Chalobah occupying a midfield three.
Up top, Mitrovic retains his number nine spot with Marco Solomon, Neeksens Kebano, Harry Wilson or Bobby De Cordova Reid interchangeable on the wings.
More links will inevitably unfold over the summer, but for now, Fulham and their current squad should revel in their achievements and enjoy the remaining four games of what has been a truly impressive season.
‘LONDON FOOTBALL UNITES FOR UKRAINE’
Liaising with the UK Ukrainian Sports Supporters Club (UKUSSC) and the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB), London Football Scene has launched ‘London Football Unites for Ukraine’ – a fundraising campaign to provide as much relief to those in need.
We are urging all the Capital’s clubs, players and fans to raise as much money as possible for British-Ukrainian Aid (registered charity No. 1164472).
Please visit our JustGiving Page to give as much as you can and look out for more events and fundraising activities over the coming few weeks.
London Football Unites for Ukraine: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/londonfootballunitesforukraine