Marco Silva is nothing if not consistent. When questioned about his immediate future at Craven Cottage, the Fulham head coach gives an answer as regular as clockwork. The club will announce any official update but he stresses the importance of building on a brilliant first season back in the Premier League by strengthening the squad. He has referred to ‘a big few months’ and ‘an important period’ in two press conferences in the next month.

Transfer business remains a touchy subject at Motspur Park. Slavisa Jokanovic, Claudio Ranieri and Scott Parker publicly pronounced on the pitfalls of Fulham’s player recruitment process, which demands a tick from director of football Tony Khan, and Silva demanded a greater say on acquisitions during his interview to become the club’s new head coach two summers ago. Last year, after a glorious canter to the Championship, he used his pre-match press availability to highlight the small size of Fulham’s first-team squad and urged the hierarchy to get on with signing players in a manner similar to how Jokanovic created unwelcome headlines after becoming frustrated with the glacial pace of transfer activity.

Fulham have preferred to find bargains at the end of the summer transfer window in the past but keeping a perfectionist like Silva will probably necessitate a switch in strategy. There are signs that the Portuguese head coach, nominated for the manager of the year award let us not forget, has some sway – especially if we remember that Joao Palhinha, without doubt the Premier League’s pound-for-pound signing of this season, arrived from Sporting in early July. But Silva’s long-term future in SW6 relies on the board backing him heavily both with funds and in time to work with high quality additions during pre-season. Shahid Khan referenced the Premier League Summer Series in America in his programme notes for yesterday’s game against Crystal Palace: the custodian could demonstrate his continued commitment to London’s oldest club by unveiling some marquee signings Stateside.

If there was any doubt where Fulham’s threadbare squad needs bolstering, then yesterday’s frustrating draw with Palace would have offered pertinent pointers. Tim Ream’s remarkable season has been brilliant, but even the ageless St. Louis native can’t keep going for ever. Shane Duffy isn’t an enduring solution either and, as Chloe wrote last night, Issa Diop looks half as -impressive when forced to operate at left centre back. The Whites will need a couple of centre backs, who are comfortable with the ball at their feet, if Silva wants to both remain as adventurous next term and reduce the number of times his side are rescued by either Joao Palhinha or Bernd Leno.

The Whites are short of top-notch understudies for both Palhinha and Harrison Reed, who has another superb season having become more of a box-to-box midfielder than he was under Parker. Sasa Lukic should start next season stronger having acclimatised to the physical and pure pace of life in the Premier League, but a pair of extra bodies in the engine room are a must. Tom Cairney has stepped into the shoes of Andreas Pereira with class, although his early withdrawal against the Eagles coincided with Fulham’s collapse in the final ten minutes. A new attacking midfielder, with the talented teenager Luke Harris still being nurtured carefully, will be vital as the timeframe for the Brazilian’s return from a terrible injury remains a little up in the air.

Other positions will need filling as well. Fulham have been fortunate to enjoy excellent campaigns from both first-choice full backs in Kenny Tete and Antonee Robinson, but they will need able deputies in time for the start of next season – especially as Joe Bryan nears an emotion return to Bristol City. There might well also be a hunt for a back-up centre forward. Aleksandar Mitrovic remains the main man and, although Carlos Vinicius has finished the campaign commendably, every manager desires another option to change things up off the bench. The long-term option will probably prove to be Jay Stansfield, who signed off so memorably at Exeter with a hat-trick, but a more seasoned striker could offer Silva more immediate tactical flexibility.

Fulham have enjoyed a fantastic campaign – one that is well worth celebrating. But elite football doesn’t stand still and Silva certainly won’t be resting on his laurels. This isn’t the time to take it easy over the summer: it is now that the Fulham hierarchy have to lay the foundations for the next stage of their ambitious project.