Fulham frontman Marcello Trotta still has a future at Craven Cottage, according to boss Rene Meulensteen.

The young Italian has made just three substitute appearances for the Whites, having spent the past two seasons out on loan at Wycombe, Watford and Brentford.

Trotta has smashed eight goals in his last 15 games for the Bees and recently had his loan extended until the end of the campaign.

However, Meulensteen says the 21-year-old, whose deal in SW6 expires in 2015, can force his way into Fulham’s first-team plans.

He said: “Loans are a bit of a gamble, but for Trotta it’s worked. He’s playing football and scoring goals and, similar to Dan Burn, we have to keep him progressing.

“They’re playing competitive games week in, week out, and you can’t copy that on the training pitch.

“They’re all potentially very good players. We’re looking for the best pathway for them, and at the moment it’s loans.”