It’s been a strange and tumultuous season for Fulham, one that opened with few expectations before a run of good form following the Whites’ surprise win against Leicester. Unfortunately, fans were ultimately left disappointed yet again as the club failed to secure Premier League survival. However, that wasn’t without some memorable moments for the Cottagers. So, here is our 2020/21 end of season awards.
Player of the Season
Our player of the season is the ever-consistent Harrison Reed. The box-to-box midfielder has shown his commitment in every game this season whilst wearing the historic white shirt, building on the strong start he made at Fulham last season. Reed has truly cemented his status as a vital part of the side this season, becoming one of the first names on the team sheet as his sheer endeavour has endeared him to Fulham fans and the coaching staff alike.
However, the tireless midfield maestro was run close by both Alphonse Areola and Joachim Andersen. The high-profile loan stars have been tipped for bigger things after a dependable season in an underperforming side by the river. They will both be sorely missed by the fans, who witnessed the French and Danish internationals elevate Fulham to a level not seen in the Premier League for arguably 10 years.
Young Player of the Season
Fulham’s Young Player of the Season is unquestionably Fabio Carvalho. The 18-year-old Portuguese starlet has featured five times for the senior squad this season, having started in the club’s short-lived runs in the FA and EFL Cups. The young winger has also played a part in three Premier League games this season, making his league debut on May 1st 2021 as he played 12 minutes at the end of the Whites’ 2-0 loss away at Chelsea. Just two weeks later, Carvalho made his full Premier League debut, scoring a thunderous shot that bolted off the underside of the bar as he started on the right-wing in Fulham’s 3-1 loss to Southampton.
Admittedly, Carvalho had little competition for this award with his nearest competition, Josh Maja, aged 22 years old. However, this takes nothing away from the academy graduate who was a shining light in Fulham’s dull season-ending games. Carvalho was a joy to watch as he added an element of energy and excitement, making darting runs throughout the opposition’s half and utilised his electric pace to add a smattering of creativity to the Whites’ attack. He is an exceptional prospect and we can’t wait to see how he progresses next season.
Academy Player of the Season
Fulham’s Under-18s side have had a brilliant season, retaining the Premier League Under 18 title and scoring 78 goals in the process. This has thrown up multiple candidates for Academy Player of the Season, including Keiron Bowie and Luke Harris. However, our winner goes to Mika Biereth, who has scored 21 goals in 21 PL-U18 games whilst assisting a further 13 goals.
The 18-year-old English striker has proved instrumental to the Under-18’s second successive title, contributing towards an enormous 43.6% of the side’s goals. This has been even more important as Fulham’s other striking starlet Jay Stansfield has been out for the majority of the season due to injury. Hopefully, we will see more of Motspur Park’s young talent in the Championship next season, continuing the conveyer belt that has brought graduates such as Ryan Sessegnon and Harvey Elliott to the fore.
Goal of the Season
Fulham have scored 32 goals in all competitions this season, 27 of which came in the Premier League – the second-lowest in the competition behind only Sheffield United. Despite finding it hard to find the back of the net with any regularity, the Whites have scored some beauties in 2020/21, including those of Tom Cairney against Crystal Palace in October and Bobby Decordova-Reid against Queens Park Rangers in January.
However, HammyEnd’s Goal of the Season goes to Ola Aina, the ex-Chelsea defender loaned from Italian side Torino, for his effort against West Bromwich Albion in November. This goal came after a wonderfully worked 1-2 with Decordova-Reid on the right-hand side of the pitch, with Aina picking up the return pass on the edge of the box. The Nigerian international struck the bobbling ball first time with his weaker left foot, sending it looping into the top-left corner of the goal. This jaw-droppingly beautiful strike was awarded the Premier League’s Goal of the Month for November, showing its appreciation from the wider footballing community.
Assist of the Season
Fulham’s lack of goals also did not compromise the quality of the build-up play to those that were scored. Therefore, the Assist of the Season is also awarded for yet another goal against the Baggies. However, this time it is Harrison Reed taking the prize. Reed assisted Ivan Cavaliero in the 76th minute of the January fixture, away at the Hawthorns, to earn Fulham a point on the road.
The goal came with some slow build-up play, as Anguissa shifted the ball from the centre of the pitch to Aina on the right-hand side. The full-back then found Reed to his right, looking to overlap the box-to-box midfielder. However, Reed had spotted a creative opportunity and instead played a floated cross from the touchline into the box. The ball bounced on the penalty spot before being met by the head of a diving Cavaleiro, who guided it to the right of the goalkeeper and into the left side of the goal to complete the sublime goal.
Do you agree with our assessment for this season’s awards? Let us know down below.