The Lowdown: Whites humbled…
Marco Silva has overseen a generally solid start to this 2022/2023 campaign back in the big time for Fulham, but this afternoon was certainly one to forget.
On top of conceding goals galore in a humbling 4-1 defeat at Craven Cottage, Fulham lost both Layvin Kurzawa and star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who were hauled off with knocks.
The latter in particular could be a real miss depending on the severity of his problem, with The Athletic journalist Peter Rutzler reporting that the Serbian walked off with ice around his ankle.
To compound the misery, Nathaniel Chalobah was sent off after just seven minutes for a poor lunge, with Silva now looking forward to Fulham’s next game against West Ham with the aim of putting this ‘nightmare‘ encounter behind him.
The Latest: Mbabu criticised…
While there were a few questionable performances from Fulham today, one player who has received particularly strong criticism for his display is summer signing Mbabu, who struggled badly up against Newcastle winger Jacob Murphy.
Journalist Kyle Bonn of Sporting News duly questioned the right-back’s acquisition from Wolfsburg and even called it ‘financial malpractice’.
He explained (via Twitter): “Fulham actually paid 5 million real life pounds sterling – not fake Monopoly money, but actual legal tender – for Kevin Mbabu. The Whites did some great business this past summer, but that is financial malpractice.”
The Verdict: Off-day…
As per SofaScore, Mbabu appeared to endure a real off-day, prompting Silva to haul him off on 45 minutes.
The Swiss defender concluded his contribution as one of Fulham’s lowest-rated players overall, having failed to win a single duel. He also lost possession eight times whilst completing just four of his eight passes.
However, it is early days in his Craven Cottage career, and the attack-minded full-back certainly has the ability to turn things around, as evidenced by some of his performances in Germany last season.
Indeed, the 27-year-old can be very bright in attacking positions, even finishing 2021/22 with Wolfsburg’s second-highest rate of successful take-ons per 90 in the Bundesliga (WhoScored).
Hopefully this was just an off-day for the summer signing and that he and his team-mate can put today’s horror show swiftly behind them.
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