Fulham hope to show caution pays against free-spending Nottingham Forest

·2-min read
In charge: Marco Silva  (REUTERS)
In charge: Marco Silva (REUTERS)

Fulham have done their business very differently to tonight’s opponents, who have spent a whopping £157.3million on 22 players.

The Cottagers travel to the City Ground with a squad assembled for £62.2m but sit well above 19th-placed Forest in the table, having learned lessons in the past.

Steve Cooper’s side have looked like strangers, having signed so many players, and have earned comparisons to the Fulham of two years ago, who were relegated despite spending £100m.

It remains to be seen whether they can come together, but Fulham under Marco Silva have looked well drilled and competitive despite being one of the lower spenders in the League.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was criticised back in 2019, is now the League’s second-top scorer behind only Erling Haaland.

Also apparently not good enough for the top flight last time around, defender Tim Ream has continued his good form from the Championship-winning season.

Initially, the club’s lack of investment was criticised from the outside, and even Silva aired his concerns during pre-season.

However, Fulham ended up signing 12 players, with £20m midfielder Joao Palhinha, Andreas Pereira, Kevin Mbabu, Bernd Leno and Issa Diop costing significant fees. In Leno’s case, the cost after buying him from Arsenal has been spread over several seasons and will only be paid in full if the club survives for two seasons in the top flight.

Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in stunning form this season. (Getty Images)
Aleksandar Mitrovic has been in stunning form this season. (Getty Images)

Led by transfer chiefs Tony Khan and Alistair Mackintosh, the club waited until the last minute to secure many deals as they looked for value after blowing the budget in their last top-flight season.

Many of their late signings, such as loan star Dan James, had been on the radar for some time, but they waited until they got the best possible deal for the club.

At the end of a tricky window, the club has emerged looking astute and sensible and well placed to stay out of trouble this season, while cash-rich Forest have plenty of work to do finding their feet in the top flight.