The mighty £133m summer transfer window Fulham could have enjoyed - according to Football Manager 2023
How could Fulham’s summer transfer have played out in an alternative world? Football Manager 2023 tells us...
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Fulham experienced a hectic summer transfer as some key figures at Craven Cottage departed for pastures new and several new faces arrived in west London.
The big money sale of Aleksandar Mitrovic to Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal stole the headlines but there likes of Shane Duffy, Joe Bryan, Paulo Gazzaniga, Ivan Cavaleiro and Neeskans Kebano were also allowed to depart on free transfers as Marco Silva looked to improve his squad.
The income created by Mitrovic’s sale went on Everton winger Alex Iwobi, Ajax defender Calvin Bassey, Leicester City full-back Timothy Castagne and Wolves striker Raul Jimenez. here were further arrivals as Jimenez’s former Wolves team-mate Adama Traore joined on a free transfer and AC Milan left-back Fode Ballo-Toure was secured on a season-long loan.
But how could the summer transfer window have played out in an alternative world? We fired up the world’s most popular football management simulation and used the editor to conduct the same outgoing business as the real world Cottagers, before simulating the summer transfer window to see how Football Manager 2023 predicts Silva could have acted as he looked to strengthen his squad.
Dominic Solanke - £34m from Bournemouth
Silva prioritised a replacement for Aleksandar Mitrovic and after failed moves for the likes of Luka Jovic and Patrick Bamford, the Cottagers boss turned his attentions to what would turn out to be a successful pursuit of Bournemouth striker Dominic Solanke.
Silva was not the only admirer of the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker as Nottingham Forest, Everton and Brighton and Hove Albion were all interested in his services - but it was Fulham that won the race to sign Solanke as they filled a big hole in their forward line.
Scott McTominay - £40m from Manchester United
Joao Palhinha remained an integral part of Silva’s side in the real world and he followed that example in the virtual one, despite interest from several clubs in the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga.
And the Portugal star will have a new partner in the heart of the Cottagers midfielder after Silva made a £40m move for Scotland international McTominay. The Red Devils midfielder had submitted a transfer request at Old Trafford and he will now play a key role in Fulham’s plans for the season.
Gavin Bazunu - £18m from Southampton
Bernd Leno will have new competition for a place as Silva’s number one after the Cottagers manager completed a move for Republic of Ireland international Gavin Bazanu.
The former Manchester City stopper was secured in the final week of the summer transfer window after snubbing interest from Aston Villa to move to Craven Cottage. Whether he will be Fulham’s first choice remains to be seen but there is now genuine competition for Leno.
Joachim Andersen - £31m from Crystal Palace
A familar face returns to Fulham as former loan star Andersen makes a permanent switch to the Cottage.
The Denmark international made 31 appearances during a loan spell with the Cottagers three years ago and has gone on to enjoy an impressive stint with Premier League rivals Crystal Palace since joining the Eagles in a £14m move in the summer of 2021.
However, he will now look to establish himself at the heart of Silva’s back four after completing his return to Fulham on the final day of the summer transfer window.
Matt O’Riley - £10m from Celtic
Andersen was not the only Danish international to join Fulham on the final day of the transfer window after Under-21 star O’Riley was persuaded to left Scottish champions Celtic.
The former MK Dons midfielder became a two-time Scottish Premiership champions and landed a Scottish Cup and League Cup Final wins to his list of acheivements during an 18-month stay with the Glasgow giants. He will now look to force his way into what feels a competitive midfield at Fulham after beating the deadline by minutes.