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Marco Silva insists that Neeskens Kebano will play a pivotal part in Fulham’s season after deciding to keep him at Craven Cottage.

The Congolese winger scored a penalty against Southampton and started the Whites’ final pre-season friendly against Charlton last weekend having impressed Fulham’s new head coach after he took over from Scott Parker. Kebano is in with a chance of making the starting line-up for tomorrow’s Championship opener against Middlesbrough, with whom he spent a successful loan spell in the second half of last season.

Silva told his pre-match press conference yesterday – as quoted by West London Sport:

“It’s good for us that we have a good number of players that know really well the competition and what it means to play for Fulham Football Club in the Championship. Some of them in the past had a very good taste of what it means to get promotion, and Kebano is one of them. He’s a player who knows really well the club, knows really well the competition. Of course, he’s a player that is a part of my plans.”

Kebano, who has scored fifteen goals in 96 appearances for Fulham since signing from Genk five years ago, made just five appearances for the Whites last season and Neil Warnock was reportedly keen to sign the winger permanently. But Silva sees the 29 year-old as adding an exciting option out wide and will be hoping Kebano can repeat the sort of impact that saw him score five goals in four games at the end of Fulham’s last promotion push.