New Fulham head coach Marco Silva has told his first press conference that Aleksandar Mitrovic will be the club’s ‘key player’ as he targets an immediate return to the top flight.

The Serbian striker had been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage this summer after only starting eleven Premier League games under Scott Parker last season, but the Portuguese boss has wasted little time in emphasising just how important Fulham’s number nine is to his plans for promotion.

Silva said: “I think for all our football club and for the fans Mitro is a key player for us. Last season was not the best season for him, we know that and he knows that but we are here to support him and help him score important. I know his quality, I was really happy to work with him before I started. I tried to work with him twice before – he will be a key player for us”.

The former Everton and Watford manager said it was an ‘easy decision’ to accept Fulham’s approach to succeed Parker.

“I’m really happy to be back in England. It’s been a target to come back. To be honest it was an easy decision, I was close to joining a different club but I really appreciated the interest the club showed in ourselves, from [chief executive] Alastair [Mackintosh] and then [director of football] Tony [Khan] and [owner] Mr [Shahid] Khan was very important for us. Of course Fulham is a club with a big story and we want to be part of this project.”

Silva underlined the importance of former Fulham favourite Luis Boa Morte, who returned to Motspur Park this week, as his right hand man.

“I’ve known Luis since he was fourteen years old. We are friends for nineteen years. He joined me at Everton and now at Fulham. He is so important. He knows Fulham so well, he has a big history here.”

Silva confirmed that new signing Paulo Gazzaniga will provide ‘competition’ for Marek Rodak in goal and Welsh winger Harry Wilson, who arrives from Liverpool, will offer ‘creativity’. He is keen to make further additions before the start of the Championship campaign.

“I’m here working with the football club to get our squad stronger, this is the main thing for me, I know what I want from the football club. Now I will finish the third week working with them. We don’t finish, for sure we don’t finish. We are working with the club. When the market is open anything can happen.”

The Fulham boss has already made promotion his target, but knows just how competitive the Championship will be.

“It’s a clear aim for us. Not just us, there are five six clubs. The competition will be tough. But it’s our target. We have to compete and show that in every matchday. We have to show and make our fans feels we are giving 100 per cent in football matches. After that, good things, will come.”