Martin Jol has challenged Mesca to prove himself worthy of a first-team place by the New Year – or face a loan spell away from Fulham.

The Portuguese winger, so impressive during pre-season, made his Fulham debut as a substitute during Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea and he has seemingly vaulted above Ashkan Dejagah in the pecking order after some eye-catching displays during training down at Motspur Park.

Jol has told the 20 year-old, who signed a new contract with the club in April, that could gain a regular place in the side if he can perform consistently or he will follow Alex Kacaniklic’s route into the first-team, with the Swede emerging after a successful loan spell at Watford two years ago.

I told Mesca if he starts scoring goals and giving us assists he could be the number one. I will wait until January [to loan him out] because he’s in contention for the first team.