Marco Silva says Manor Solomon can add a different dimension to Fulham’s attack as the Whites chase a first taste of continental competition in a decade.

The Israeli international scored his first goal for the Whites in Fulham’s 2-0 win against Nottingham Forest last weekend – an emotional moment for the summer signing, which was celebrated wildly at the Hammersmith End. Silva told his press conference ahead of the visit to Brighton that he was delighted for the winger, who has battled back from a bad knee injury after leaving Shakhtar Donetsk in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to play in the Premier League.

“He’s improving. He deserved the goal he scored, it was an important moment, because 2022 was a really tough year for him, in all aspects and in his personal life. Helping the team to win the match was really important for him. He’s still not at his best physical condition, but he’s showing his quality already.

What he can add to our squad is slightly different from the other wingers that we have since we lost [Neeskens] Kebano. He has the capacity to take players on one v one and we need this type of player. He has really high competition for his position. Willian is in such a good moment. Some players have to be ready to help from the beginning of the match, some have to be ready to help from the bench as well. The main thing for me, if they come in during the match, they have to be able to help the team like he did last game.”

Although Silva has largely utilised the 23 year-old from the bench so far, the Fulham head coach has backed Solomon to shine in the second half of the season as he gains more match sharpness.

“He’s knocking [on] the door, definitely. Our two wingers, Bobby [Decordova-Reid] and Willian have been our best players this season so far. I have to say Manor is doing really well and he’s improving. But I have to recognise that Willian and Bobby have been so, so important for this football club this season.”

Silva wouldn’t, however, be drawn on Solomon’s future beyond the summer

“We have to wait to take the decision. If I’m going to talk about Solomon then I have to talk about Willian who is [nearing the] end of [his short-term Fulham] contract. I don’t want to be unfair on other players who are on loan as well.”