Goals from summer signings Raul Jimenez and Calvin Bassey secured a win over Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim in Fulham’s final pre-season friendly at Craven Cottage this afternoon. There was a further boost for Marco Silva after a summer of serious uncertainty in the transfer market with Willian starting and Aleksandar Mitrovic making a telling contribution from the bench after both were linked with moves to Saudi Arabia.

Silva named almost his strongest side for Fulham’s last test before the big kick off at Everton next weekend – with Harrison Reed handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Tom Cairney, who watched from the Cottage balcony. But the Whites struggled initially to impose themselves on Hoffenheim’s five-man midfield and were fortunate that Andrej Kramaric spurned two glorious chances to give the visitors the lead. The former Leicester forward chipped tamely into Bernd Leno’s arms after seizing on a poor ball out from the back by Issa Diop and then drilled wide when well placed.

Fulham gradually warmed to the contest, with Sasa Lukic providing robustness in the engine room, but struggled to create clear cut chances. The closest they came saw Jimenez, making his first start since signing from Wolves last week, head wide from a corner but a sluggish showing saw the Whites often opting for too much intricate play in the Hoffenheim box. There were flashes of encouraging link-up play between Jimenez, Bobby Decordova-Reid and Willian but it was no surprise that the first half finished in a soggy stalemate.

The hosts upped the tempo after the break, although Lukic – who was cautioned for one overly aggressive challenge in the first half – was perhaps fortunate to remain on the field after another robust tackle. The Whites played more fluid football in the second half, with both full backs pushed on and it was no surprise that Antonee Robinson, who enjoyed another excellent afternoon, was key in the creation of the opening goal. The American international picked up possession from Willian and drilled in a lovely low cross that the stretching Jimenez turned in from six yards in front of the Hammersmith End.

But Hoffenheim hit back almost immediately when Julian Justvin’s floated ball in from the left was headed past Bernd Leno by Grischa Promel, who punished some statuesque defending from Diop. The Germans then almost went in front after Kramaric turned dangerously in the penalty area and saw a shot deflected fractionally over by Bassey. That was the cue for Silva to turn to his substitutes’ bench, sending on Andreas Pereira and Mitrovic.

The Serbian, looking slimmer despite being short on team training over the summer, made an immediate impression by dropping deep to dictate the play and almost laid on a second goal for Harry Wilson after sprinting to inject pass into a Fulham counter-attack on the right flank. Wilson’s shot was deflected wide but from the ensuing corner, Bassey powered a header home after an excellent near post delivery by Pereira.

The home side continued to press for a third with Kenny Tete seeing a shot blocked and Decordova-Reid dragging an effort wide of goal after an outstanding team move that saw Mitrovic deftly play in the Jamaican international with a beautifully disguised reverse pass as Silva’s side recorded a morale-boosting victory. There were late cameos for the returning Tim Ream and young prospects Luke Harris and Jay Stansfield – with the Cottagers able to look ahead to the trip to Merseyside next weekend in good heart.

FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Leno; Tete, A. Robinson, Diop, Bassey (Ream 85); Reed (Harris 88), Lukic; Wilson, Willian (Pereira 68), Decordova-Reid (Stansfield 88); Jimenez (Mitrovic 68). Subs: Rodak, Borto, Mbabu, de Fougerolles, Dibley-Dias, Godo.

BOOKED: Lukic.

GOALS: Jimenez (52), Bassey (73).

TSG 1899 HOFFENHEIM (3-5-2): Baumann; Brooks, Kabak, Szalai; Promel, Stiller, Grillitsch (Damar 79), Justvan (Conte 85); M. Bulter, Kramaric. Subs (not used): Phillip, Becker, Nsoki, Quarshie, Q. Butler.

BOOKED: Stiller.

GOAL: Promel (56).

REFEREE: John Brooks.