One of Marco Silva’s major focuses as the clock ticks down to the big kick-off is supplementing Fulham’s striking resources. At the moment, the club’s new head coach would face a conundrum were he to be deprived of the services of our talismanic Serb Aleksandar Mitrovic. The options to replace our number nine are limited with Aboubakar Kamara inconsistent and young Jay Stansfield having made just a couple of senior appearances. With Kamara being linked with a potential departure, the race is on to find further forward options who could make their mark in the Championship.
Silva has already shown a strong interest in Brazilian youngster Rodrigo Muniz – and Flamengo are reportedly poised to make a decision between competing offers from Fulham and Middlesbrough in the next few hours. If we are to avoid enduring more of Ivan Cavaleiro as a false nine, then the recruitment of another attacker needs to be a priority. I’ve put together five possible targets that should suit the sort of system Silva will employ at Craven Cottage, based on how his Watford and Everton sides played in the past.
Cauley Woodrow (Barnsley)
The first name needs no introduction. Cauley Woodrow spent eight years at Fulham, starring in the youth set-up, before progressing to the first team when he was handed a surprise Premier League debut by Felix Magath. Woodrow never really got the regular run in the senior side he probably deserved – scoring twelve goals in 66 appearances – and it was no surprise when he left the club in 2019. He has flourished at Barnsley, scoring 48 times in 126 games, and enjoyed an outstanding season last year as the Tykes surprised plenty by sneaking into the play-offs. He’s always spoken highly of Fulham and might well be open to a return.
Kemar Roofe (Rangers)
The Jamaican international has made a real mark north of the border since returning to British football from Anderlecht last August. He scored eighteen goals in 36 appearances last season as Steven Gerrard lead Rangers to the Scottish title and his eye for goal and predatory instincts can’t be quibbled with. The Jamaican international is certainly no stranger to the Championship – having scored 29 goals in three seasons with Leeds, with fifteen of those coming in the 2018/2019 when the Yorkshire side narrowly missed out on promotion. It remains to be seen whether Rangers would countenance the loss of a proven goalscorer and Roofe’s injury proneness might also count against him.
Liam Delap (Manchester City)
The son of former Stoke City long-throw expert Rory, Delap has been widely regarded as one of the brightest young talents in English youth football for some time. Still only 18, the powerful forward rattled in 24 goals in 20 matches for Manchester’s under 23 side last season. He has already made three appearances for the senior side, with Pep Guardiola praising his maturity, and scored within eighteen minutes of his first-team debut against Bournemouth in the League Cup. A whole host of Championship clubs are keen to take Delap on loan, which City might see of a way of furthering his development, but it is far from certain where he might end up at this point. Delap might be raw, but he’s a real prospect.
Daryl Dike (Orlando City)
Championship watchers will be well aware of the American international’s credentials after an excellent loan spell at Barnsley last season. The 21 year-old scored nine goals in nineteen appearances to help the Reds reach the play-offs, but the Oakwell outfit were priced out of turning the loan into a permanent move. Trying to lure Dike to Craven Cottage would certainly be ambitious, with several Premier League clubs reportedly keen on his signature and an apparent £18m price tag, but his skill set would make him an almost ideal understudy for Mitrovic.
Lucas Joao (Reading)
Silva would certainly be aware of the striking credentials of his compatriot and Joao’s nineteen goals for Reading last season represented a remarkable return. He has scored goals consistently in the Championship having spent three seasons with Sheffield Wednesday, and at 6’4” would relish the physical contest, just like Mitrovic. The Portuguese international would likely thrive on the sort of service offered by new signing Harry Wilson – although the Royals have already resisted approaches from other suitors this summer.