With Fulham supposedly slightly against FFP and the deal for Manor Solomon up in the air the Whites are left with limited options when It comes to a replacement for the brilliant star boy Fabio Carvalho who despite his tender age will be a huge gap to fill in the squad next campaign.

There are a few options available to Marco Silva in that he may decide not to replace the Portugal u21 international and instead adopt a more defensive midfield with two holding midfielders or one holding and two number eights. This would be a good way of getting around not getting a direct replacement for Fabio, as someone of that quality would definitely cost a pretty penny either in fee or wages should Silva decide to go with a free agent or both if the club decide to splash what cash they have on a marquee signing in the number ten role.

Another option for the club I’ve touched on a bit in my previous paragraph is to go all out and blow what cash the club has on replacing Fabio in the hope the creativity and goalscoring of the new man can be enough to help keep Fulham above the dreaded drop zone. My personal opinion is this is a huge risk if the club decide to go that route as we all know there are other areas of the team that requires significant strengthening before we look at the number ten position. We all know by now that a loan back isn’t an option due to Premier League rules and Jurgen Klopp has also come out and said that Carvalho will be part of the first team, so for Fulham, they must keep looking.

The free agent market is another option here and Fulham appear to be looking at out of contract players with rumours about centre backs and a potential move for West Ham pair Andriy Yarmolenko and Ryan Fredericks in the media recently; it wouldn’t be mad to think that Fulham may be looking for Fabs replacement here as well.

Some big names are out of contract and Fulham could swoop if they chose to.

The likes of Jesse Lingard have been rumoured in the media, he would add Premier League quality in abundance and possesses a definite goal threat but also his rumoured £180k wages would prove a huge stumbling block for Fulham although sometimes you need to take big risks for big reward.

Other big names on the list are Isco, the Spanish star who has fallen over the last few years but there is no doubt in his ability and possibly a move to London and the Premier League could reignite his career. And at the age of 30, he could have 2 or 3 good seasons in him.

Jean Paul Boetius is a name that has been linked with Fulham in the past and has according to some on social media said he feels a connection with the club. At 28, he is in his prime and could be a great addition to Fulham should the Whites want to make a move.

Filip Djuricic is another good option for Fulham. He had a great start to his career in Holland but has since become a bit of a nearly man; spells at big clubs like Benfica didn’t exactly go to plan but he has found his feet at Sassuolo in Italy over the last few years. At the age of 30, and an international team mate of Aleksandar Mitrovic, he could be a shrewd free transfer this summer.

My own opinion is that Fulham need to stay up this time, and to do that a short term fix isn’t always the worst option. The news that 34 year old Juan Mata is now a free agent will mean I’m sure there will be many suitors. Juan is a player who has always shown the right attitude towards the game as well as having years of experience at the top and in the Premier League; if the Spaniard could be be convinced to stay in England, Fulham could do a lot worse than make a move for Juan Mata.

Finally and possibly the most out of the box and definitely the most risky is to promote from within. Fulham have a conveyer belt of talent coming through and players like Harvey Elliott and Fabio Carvalho show the quality is there in the academy. Players that have taken the eye this season are U21s captain Sonny Hilton who led the u21s to their league title whilst being nominated for Premier League 2 Player Of The Season. Luke Harris, who has been promoted to the first team for their upcoming pre season training, is another to keep your eye on pushing for a senior spot. Choosing this option is definitely a brave and very risky one as putting your hope in a youngster puts a lot of pressure on the player at such a tender age. I think Silva should use the new 9 subs on the bench and 5 available to ease these youngsters in but in my personal opinion this isn’t the answer for who should replace Carvalho.

Verdict: As we all know the Premier League is going to be a lot tougher than the Championship was and having someone between the lines with vision and a goal threat could well be key to keeping Mitrovic sufficiently supplied and in turn Fulham remaining in the top flight so for me a new number ten is a priority this summer, and although they won’t play every game especially against the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, where a more conservative approach will be needed, a new number ten could play a crucial part in Fulham’s survival.