The summer transfer window was always going to be crucial in enhancing Slavisa Jokanovic’s squad for the challenge of playing Premier League football. There are still signings to be made and parts of the squad to be strengthened, but we asked our newest writer Billy Wright to run the rule over the new arrivals to Craven Cottage so far.
Maxime Le Marchand
On Thursday 12th July 2018, the signing of French defender Maxim Le Marchand, 28 was completed. Maxime started his career at Rennes, before joining Le Havre, who are famous for developing players like N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez.He spent five years at Le Havre before moving onto Nice, which is where Fulham picked up from.
Maxime played as a left full-back for Nice last year and this could be where he plays for Fulham this season, unless Jokanovic adds more depth to his squad here in the final weeks of the season. While he performed very well as a left back for Nice last year, Maxime is more comfortable playing as a central defender,where he could partner Tim Ream. The only issue is that the both of them are left footed – and that might not give Jokanovic the kind of balance he would be hoping for in an ideal partnership.
The 6’1” defender is known for his composure on the ball and his passing which will only benefit Fulham’s possession style of football. Maxime and Tim Ream would be a great partnership in the heart of the defence – however bringing in a new left back is a must if this is to be the case.
Jean Michaël Seri
On the same day as signing Maxime, the Whites also managed to pull off what some have described as the signing of the summer already in Jean Michaël Seri. The 5’6” Ivorian performed splendidly for Nice last term and the comparison of his campaign to that of the much-vaunted Italian playmaker Marco Veratti is well worth considering:
- Better pass completion from Seri
- More assists per 90 minutes
- More chances created per 90 mins
- More key passses per 90 minutes
- More duels won and less defensive errors per 90 mins
Jean Michaël Seri, known as ‘Mika’ by his team-mates will wear the number 24 for the Whites this season and he may elbow Stefan Johansen out of the first-team reckoning to team up with Kevin McDonald and captain Tom Cairney in midfield. I am thoroughly excited by the signing of Mika and can’t wait to see him play pull on the white shirt competitively for the first team when Fulham’s Premier League season gets underway against Crystal Palace in August.
Fabricio Agosto Ramirez
The signing of Fabricio Agosto Ramirez, 30, commonly known as ‘Fabri’ was completed on 24th July. This is a smart signing in my opinion as he provides very strong competition to Marcus Bettinelli. Bettinelli played very well on his return to the Fulham side last year, becoming a crucial member of the team that eventually achieved promotion back to the top flight, but there are doubts about whether he possesses Premier League quality.
Fabri signed for an undisclosed fee, rumoured to be around £5 million from Turkish side Besiktas. After seeing how the Turkish fans have reacted to the news that their beloved Fabri was moving to SW6, there should be some real optimism about this latest addition. With recent Champions League experience in his locker, Fabri looks like a fantastic signing and, like the capture of Seri, this is a real statement of intent. I can’t wait to see how Fabri goes about his business in goal for the whites next year!