Alfie Mawson has professed himself delighted to be a Fulham player – admitting that it was a ‘relief’ to finally secure his protracted transfer from Swansea City yesterday.
The 24 year-old centre back has moved back to London for an initial fee of around £15m and told FulhamFCTV that he was keen to sign for the Cottagers once he heard of their interest in his services.
It’s a relief to be honest. It’s been a long transfer window – there’s a lot been going on behind the scenes. I’m just delighted to finally get [it] over the line and to finally say I’m a Fulham player.
It was a bit of a bittersweet one, obviously just finishing the season how I did with Swansea, with relegation, which was obviously an awful stage in my career and then the clubs got in touch and agents got involved. It took its time and there were a few things on the way that had to be sorted out, but at the end of the day I’m here and I’m delighted to say that.
Mawson revealed that moving back to the capital, where he grew up, was a big part of his decision to pick Fulham over other potential Premier League suitors.
It’s been a thing for me, my family and my missus since I went up north. It showed me that I want to set up my family and move forward down here. It’s why we want to have our forever home again, so it is handy to be able to start that sooner rather than later. It is nice to be home.
The new signing said he was ‘excited’ by the prospect of playing for Fulham even before his new club went on their summer spending splurge and he believes that the strong additions will help the Whites get ready for the serious challenge of top flight football.
I was excited before they started bringing in the big signings that have been made. I think with the owners and the way they look at things – never any panic, play the right football, quality passing. It was a joy to watch last year and I’m excited about the way that’s going to come into the Premier League. It’s a totally different animal, it is a bigger test – the teams speak for themselves, the quality is there – it is going to be good to be a part of that and taking the style of play which got the club promoted in a great way, taking that forward and testing ourselves against top, top teams.
Mawson disclosed that he had lengthy conversations with Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic before agreeing to make the move and emphasised that the Serbian’s commitment to bringing him to Craven Cottage was crucial.
He was just saying, ‘I really want to get you in, it’s good to have an English player here, especially a centre half to talk’. It’s always good to have that strong core, a bit of liveliness around the changing room, get the lads going. I feel like I can bring that to the place and I’m really excited to be working for the gaffer.
The former Barnsley centre back also feels his experience of the Premier League during his time in south Wales will be a considerable benefit to a Fulham squad that is light on top flight experience.
Definitely. I spoke to the gaffer and he said there’s a lot of that kind of experience within the squad. Of course, some players have played in the top divisions in different countries but in this league it is a totally different ball game. It’s very hard, it’s very draining, it is more of a mental game than it is physically – players are always switched on, nine times out of ten they are making the right decisions, so you’ve got to replicate that. It’s going to be hard but I think my experience will help. I’ve been through the best of it when I’ve stayed up and then, unfortunately, I know how it feels to go down. I won’t let that be replicated, so if things creep in on the training ground or in games, then we can nip them in the bud. I’m just really excited to be part of this journey.
He also believes his own ball-playing attributes will fit handily into Fulham’s possession-based game and is confident that the side can get off to a good start.
I can’t wait to get on the ball. I love playing football, I love passing – first and foremost, I’m a centre half and I’m here to do the dirty bits and then add that side of it on top. I think I’m really going to flourish here and really enjoy my time here. I just can’t wait to get going.