Fulham’s released list contained no serious shocks for supporters until they saw the name of Jean Michael Seri. The Ivorian became belated a fans favourite at the Cottage last term, surprising everyone to become a vital part of one of the most stylish Fulham sides in a couple of generations. The completion of Seri’s redemption arc was one of the most underwritten stories of a season that was one of the most successful in the club’s storied history.

Marco Silva favoured Seri in what is now universally referred to as the ‘number six’ role, using his eye for a pass to distribute the ball from deep to the more creative talents Fulham fielded further forward. This generated more room against stretched defences for the likes of Wilson and Kebano. Seri’s abrupt departure terminated the bond built between the fans and a playmaker who they had gradually begun to warm to after three years of frustration – but it may yet turn out to be a shrewd spot of recruitment.

In the Championship, Fulham had plenty of possession and time on the ball using Seri as their main man to start attacks from deep. That sort of time just won’t be available in the top flight. We saw Seri struggle in the Premier League and, however adventurous Silva seeks to be, the Whites will have much less of the ball and will have to do much more defending. That would probably have turned Silva’s playmaking into something of a liability, leaving a central midfield focused on creation more vulnerable out of possession. Fulham were far from convincing against marauding opponents last term – and that problem might have become insurmountable in one of the quickest leagues in the world without some summer surgery.

The signing of Joaoa Palhinha, someone Silva knows well having been in charge at Sporting as the Lisbon lad made his way through the ranks at his boyhood club, is clearly designed to give the Fulham engine room a bit more bite. He made more tackles – 185 – then anyone else in the Primeira Liga over the past two seasons. It is probably a bit harsh to categorise the Portuguese international as a conventional stopper, as there is more to the 26 year-old’s game that breaking up the play, and he distributes the ball with the artistry you’d expect of a young player honed on the Iberian peninsular, but pairing Palhinha with Harrison Reed – for example – would make the Whites more difficult to play through.

Both Palhinha’s pedigree and the numbers seem to bear this out. He starred in the Sporting side that delivered the Lions first title in two decades having had to earn a place in Ruben Amorim’s inventive 3-4-3 system, but once he got in, the imposing midfielder became a key cog in a winning machine. So spellbinding were his performances that Palhinha was entrusted with a role nullifying the French midfield in a key Euro 2020 clash and, in an underwhelming tournament for Os Navegadores, he certainly stood out.

There is probably a net benefit in FFP terms for Fulham in replacing Seri, reportedly earning in excess of £65,000 a week in SW6, with Palhinha, who the Portuguese press claim has agreed a salary of around the £40,000 a week mark. Palhinha’s distribution definitely improved under Amorim, but his primary role in this Fulham side will be halting opposition attacks and finding Silva’s attacking outlets. It seems a role for which he is ideally suited – and prising him away from Wolves’ clutches in the space of three weeks appears to be a real coup. Of course, Fulham’s ultimate success in the upcoming season probably rests on who else will arrive at Motspur Park in the coming weeks, but this is an encouraging start.