Fulham have followed up their Play-Off Final success with their first two signings of the summer both from OCG Nice; Jean Michael Seri; and Maxime Le Marchand collating fees in excess of £30m.
Many football fans have been scratching their heads in disbelief wondering how Fulham pulled this transfer off? Jean Michael Seri had been linked to virtually all of the top six of the Premier League and it wasn’t just England where he caught the eye as Barcelona were also heavily linked last summer, yet it was the Lilywhites who sealed the deal.
It’s not hard to see why Seri and his ex-OCG Nice teammate Le Marchand were attracted to Craven Cottage. Slavisa Jokanovic has them playing an attractive brand of football build around possession and high-pressing, explaining why Neil Warnock fittingly labelled them “the Manchester City of the Championship”.
Even with two big arrivals, it won’t be easy to prize first-team spots away from those who so rightfully gained ownership of them in England’s second tier. Centre-back partnership Tim Ream and Denis Odoi have been mainstays at the back with both making over 40 appearances in the Championship.
However, the pair, aged 30, will not be able to do so yet again with the intensity of the Premier League so Le Marchand’s arrival takes the onus off the ever-present pair and will allow both to rest.
It’s expected that Seri is likely to take up either the ‘6’ role when playing the lesser possession-based teams when they can control from the off, however, when playing the more technically advanced sides, Seri may feature as one of the two advanced playmakers helping thread the forwards in and retain possession when they can. Both signings show signals of intent.