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Wednesday Fulham Stuff - 03/11/21...

Started by WhiteJC, November 02, 2021, 10:02:55 AM

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Pre-Blackburn Press Conference

Marco Silva delivered his thoughts to the press ahead of Wednesday evening's clash against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park following another positive weekend result as his side ran out 3-0 winners over West Bromwich Albion.

It was a hat-trick from Aleksandar Mitrović that secured the Whites all three points in a comfortable run-out against the Baggies, a result that very much satisfied our Head Coach, but he has insisted that his team are only looking ahead.

"I know it's always important to get results like this against a team that are a clear contender for promotion," said Marco. "If we don't do our job well [in the next game], then the impact of these three points won't be special if we don't prepare well for the next few games.

"I think a good example of what we are looking from ourselves is what we did in the first 45 minutes. We are in a very good moment and as I have said before, all the players are getting into better physical condition, which is important for me.

"We don't look at our position in the table. We know that the position we are in will just be a consequence of our results, I know all the managers can say the same but that's all our team must do. Our job is always to prepare the team in the right way."

Rovers have enjoyed a largely positive start to the season, where they currently sit just outside of the play-off places in seventh, just one point from sixth, with their most recent win coming on Saturday, where they defeated Derby County 2-1.

"I expect it to be a tough, a very tough game," Marco conceded. "If you look and you analyse them, they score a lot of goals at home. If you look at the number of goals that they have scored, they are very close to the teams at the top of the table, which means that they have the capacity to create and to score goals.

"They have a lot of individual quality as well and its always a tough place to play. I believe they can match us, and I think it's a game that if we don't play to our best, compact and not with a good balance, then we will have problems."


Barnsley FC: Fulham assistant Luís Boa Morte being considered for vacant managerial position at Oakwell
Fulham assistant coach Luis Boa Morte is one name being considered by Barnsley as a replacement for Markus Schopp.

Schopp was sacked by Barnsley on Monday after a run of seven straight defeats and with the club in the Championship relegation zone.

Boa Morte, who made over 350 appearances as a player which included spells at Fulham and West Ham United, previously managed Portugese club Sintrense.

Chris Wilder, Alex Neil and Mick McCarthy were touted as early favourites to be appointed at Oakwell by the bookmakers but Boa Morte, who was capped 28 times by Portugal, is one name believed to be under consideration.

He has also been linked with the vacant managerial positions at Cardiff City and Charlton Athletic but Fulham boss Marco Silva played down speculation relating to those clubs last week.

"Everything that can happen, like our players linked with other clubs or someone else at the club, is because you are doing something right and because you are achieving things."

Joseph Laumann will take charge of first team affairs at the Tykes on a temporary basis, starting with tomorrow's Championship fixture against Derby County.


Tony Mowbray gives update on key Blackburn Rovers man who could miss Fulham clash

Blackburn Rovers boss Tony Mowbray could be without striker Sam Gallagher for the visit of Fulham this Wednesday.

Gallagher was forced off in the final stages of their recent 2-1 victory and Derby County could be a concern for Rovers.

The forward is already on five goals this season – Ben Brereton Diaz, Tyrhys Dolan and Gallagher have scored 84% of Blackburn's goals this season so not having his inclusion he could be a big miss.

Following the victory against Derby, Mowbray spoke to the and was able to give an update on Gallagher,

"Sam's a concern, undoubtedly. He played very, very well at Derby County and wouldn't have come off had he not picked up an injury.

"If he's not ready for Wednesday then he'll definitely be ready for Saturday. If he is ready for Wednesday then he might not be ready for Saturday.

"We'll wait and see and look to give Sam every chance."

On the back of two straight wins, Blackburn are currently just one point outside the play-offs but will face a tough test against high-flying Fulham. Having scored 13 goals in their four recent wins it could cause problems to the Rovers back-line who has been hit with injuries of recent.

Mowbray was also able to give no further update on defenders Daniel Ayala and Harry Pickering who missed the game against Derby

"It's a bit early to discuss who could come back in because nobody extra trained with the team today," Mowbray stated.

"We didn't have many out training on the grass and there were quite a few who sat it out."

Mowbray will be able to give full updates on Tuesday and admits it will be a "huge day to assess his selection options."

Blackburn are next in action this Wednesday live on the Sky cameras when they face Marco Silva's men Fulham, they will then play hosts against Sheffield United on the weekend before the international break.


What does the future hold for Michael Hector at Fulham?

Michael Hector played a vital part in Fulham's promotion to the Premier League during the 2019/20 campaign, but he was unable to emerge as a regular in England's top tier.

Tosin Adarabioyo and Tim Ream have become Fulham's ideal centre-back pairing, but the former's red card has opened up the door.

However, it does appear that Alfie Mawson has been viewed as the club's third choice centre-back this season, although, Michael Hector did make the bench on Saturday.

Hector is yet to play a minute in the Championship this season, with his only two appearances coming in the EFL Cup, where he helped his side to two clean sheets before they were edged out by Leeds United on penalties.

Tosin saw a red card in the closing stages of Saturday's 3-0 victory over West Brom, for a rash tackle on Grady Diangana.

Fortunately for the 24-year-old and Fulham as a collective, no miraculous comeback came to fruition, and they comfortably saw out the 3-0 win.

Tosin's three-game suspension could kickstart Hector's season, but that is only if he is selected over Mawson, and then he has to hit the heights of the young defender's recent performances.

However, it will be no surprise to see Hector depart in January. If he is deemed as fourth-choice centre-back then a move away is certainly on the cards.

The 29-year-old has become a victim of The Cottagers possessing some very strong options at the back, and unlike the majority of Championship managers this season, a three-at-the-back formation is not part of Marco Silva's plans.

Hector's experience, defensive competence and composure on the ball, would make him an excellent option for a Championship club in need of a starting centra-back.

If Hector is presented with another opprotntiy at Craven Cottage, then he is likely to succeed and perform well, but it does not appear that he will dethrone Tosin or Ream, when all are available.

Hector is still 29 years old and has a lot to offer at Championship level, and should he become available in January, or when his contract expires in the summer, then a lot of second-tier teams will probably be waiting.


Andy Hinchcliffe makes bold Aleksandar Mitrovic claim ahead of Fulham's clash with Blackburn

Sky Sports Pundit Andy Hinchcliffe has admitted that he believes that Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic is one of the best players to ever feature in the Championship in his particular position.

The Serbian initially set this particular division alight during a loan spell with the Cottagers in 2018 as he scored 12 goals in 20 appearances for the club as they achieved promotion via the play-offs.

Mitrovic managed to find the back of the net on 26 occasions in 41 appearances in the second-tier during the 2019/20 campaign as Fulham once again secured a return to the Premier League following their relegation from this division.

Whilst the forward was unable to replicate his goal-scoring escapades in the top-flight last season, he has taken his game to new heights in the current campaign under the guidance of Cottagers manager Marco Silva.

In the 15 matches that he has played for Fulham in the Championship, Mitrovic has already scored 18 goals whilst he has also chipped in with three assists.

Having netted a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion last weekend, the 27-year-old will fancy his chances of adding to his tally when Fulham head to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers tomorrow.

Ahead of this particular clash, Hinchcliffe has admitted that he believes that Mitrovic is one of the best players to ever feature at this level in his position.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Sky Sports EFL Podcast about Mitrovic, Hinchcliffe said: "Fulham are playing well as a team.

"They play to his strengths and he is in-front of goal in the Championship, is as good as probably we have ever seen.

"So you have to give him a huge amount of credit.

"I'm not saying that Fulham are playing in a way to just get the best out of one player, they are much more than that.

"They are a very strong team all-round."

The Verdict

It is hard to disagree with Hinchcliffe's comments as Mitrovic has produced a host of superb performances at Championship level during his career.

In the 101 games that he has played at this level, the forward has managed to score 60 goals whilst he has also provided 13 assists.

For Fulham's sake, they will be hoping that Mitrovic will be able to maintain his fitness in the coming months as he is currently averaging an impressive WhoScored match rating of 7.96 in the Championship.

By continuing to deliver the goods on a consistent basis at this level, the former Newcastle United man could spearhead a push for promotion at Craven Cottage.


Boa Morte in Barnsley running

Barnsley are considering Fulham assistant manager Luis Boa Morte as a possible successor to Marcus Schopp, according to reports this morning.

Schopp was sacked yesterday with the Tykes in the Championship relegation zone following seven successive defeats. Boa Morte, who has been linked with the vacancies at Cardiff and Charlton Athletic in the past week, has been Marco Silva's number two at Craven Cottage since the summer having spent six years with the Whites as a player.

The 44 year-old is reportedly keen to become a manager in his own right, having briefly managed Portuguese third tier side Sintrense. The Yorkshire Post reports that Boa Morte is one name under consideration at Oakwell as Barnsley, who are the next visitors to SW6 after the international break, seek a swift appointment with assistant manager Joseph Laumann in interim charge for tomorrow's meeting with fellow strugglers Derby County.


Fulham away tickets pushed back

Tickets for the Cherries' away match at Fulham next month will now go on sale a week later than anticipated on Wednesday 10th November at 10am.

The delay comes because the ticket office at Vitality Stadium has yet to fully receive the information required for the on sale.

The Championship match at Craven Cottage will be televised live on Sky Sports on Friday 3rd December with a 7.45pm kick-off in west London.

Full ticket details for the fixture will be made available in the coming days.


Blackburn Rovers' Tayo Edun felt time was right to leave Fulham

Tayo Edun believes the upward trajectory of his career justified his decision to leave tomorrow night's opponents Fulham after a decade with the club.

Edun will make his eighth Rovers appearance against his former employers, moving ahead of the number he made during his time at Craven Cottage having signed as a schoolboy.

The 23-year-old earned England Under-19 honours and made seven appearances for Fulham before departing in January 2020 but his ambition has always been to get back to playing at the highest level possible.

He feels a move to Rovers has allowed him to do that, with Edun having made a promising start to his Ewood Park career.

He first came to Tony Mowbray's attention during an Under-23s clash at Leyland where Edun was locked in a midfield battle with Lewis Travis in 2017, but it's at left back that he's set to line up against free-scoring Fulham.

"I signed when I was just starting secondary school, and I left at 21," Edun said of his time with the Cottagers.

"I felt like I was getting to the age where I hadn't had enough first-team exposure.

"That's really what I was desperate for when I left Fulham and I felt it was the right time and it's turned out to be the right decision for me.

"Even going to Lincoln I always said that I wanted to be back in the Championship as soon as possible. Being here now it's about proving that I am ready for this level and being ready to kick on."

Edun also scored against Rovers on the opening day of the 2017/18 season during his time with Ipswich Town, where he also made seven appearances.

Fulham arrive at Ewood second in the table and averaging over two goals a game. Star man Aleksandar Mitrovic has found the net eight times in his last four games to take his tally to 18, and Edun says Rovers are well aware of the challenge they face and ready to meet it head on.

He added: "I feel you know what to expect from Fulham, some good players on the ball from back to front and they manage the ball well and create a lot of chances.

"It's a different type of football to the Premier League, they have had to make some adjustments, but you know they're going to be a solid team and we have to be prepared for that.

"It's the challenge we need to be ready for if we're going to compete this season and we need to be on the front foot.

"It won't define our season, but if we can go and challenge Fulham then I'm sure it will give us a lot of confidence against other teams."

Victory over Derby County made it back-to-back wins for only the second time in 2021 for Rovers who remain in top six contention a third of the way through the season.

Edun feels there are lessons to learn from the second half at Pride Park where they almost let another two-goal lead slip, but saw plenty of positive signs from the first half display.

"We're happy, two wins on the bounce now," he said.

"First half was probably as good as we've been this season, from what I've seen, really positive but we haven't got ahead of ourselves, the boys have been speaking of how we can see out the game better and how we could have managed that second half better, because I think there is a lot to work on from that point of view.

"It's still early in the season so two wins can do a lot for your league position.

"We back ourselves and as you've seen it's very tight, two wins have shot us right back up there. It's about trying to keep that momentum."


Where were Fulham at this stage of the season during their promotion-winning 2019/20 campaign?

Fulham sit in 2nd-place of the Championship following their relegation from the Premier League last season.

Marco Silva's Fulham are on course for yet another immediate return to the Premier League. The Whites secured the same feat under Scott Parker during the 2019/20 campaign, where they finished in 4th-place and won promotion via the play-offs.

Now, 15 games into this season, how does Fulham's season so far compare to that fateful 2019/20 campaign?

A humbling defeat v Hull City
Fulham's 15th game of their 2019/20 season was a 3-0 defeat at home to Hull City. It was one that brought Parker's side crashing back down to Earth and crashing out of the top-six.

The defeat left Fulham in 8th-place of the table having claimed 23 points from their opening 15 games, and having scored 22 goals.

Parker would of course guide Fulham back into the top six come the business end of the season and then overcome Brentford in a memorable play-off final.

He achieved the task at hand but couldn't quite cut it in the Premier League, though the Fulham we're seeing today look a much more rounded unit, and one that can tackle the top flight.

Hi Ho Silva
After 15 games of this season, Fulham sit in 2nd-place of the Championship table on 32 points – coincidentally only behind a Bournemouth side now manager by Parker.

The Whites have scored 36 goals in their opening 15 Championship clashes with Aleksandar Mitrovic having netted exactly half of those (18), and the Serb is now looking as good as he ever has done in a Fulham shirt.

Fulham are certainly on course for promotion once again but the real question remains whether or not they can eventually cut it in the Premier League.

There are definite differences to Fulham now under Silva than under Parker – previously, they looked fragile, inconsistent and often lacking in confidence but under Silva, Fulham are a team flowing with confidence, playing some of the best and most effective football on show in the Championship this season.

Up next for Fulham is a trip to Blackburn Rovers tomorrow night, where a win could bring them within two points of the unbeaten Bournemouth.


'An open game' - Marco Silva expects attacking prowess will prevail in Blackburn Rovers contest

Marco Silva has been assessing his sides chances ahead of their contest with Blackburn Rovers

Fulham manager Marco Silva is forecasting an open contest when his side travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers.

It's the first of an intriguing double-header in their own back yard for Rovers with Tony Mowbray's side coming into Wednesday's fixture a point adrift of the play-off places after Saturday's win over Derby County.

It was the first occasion they had recorded back-to-back victories all season but they now encounter the demanding task of stifling a Fulham side who have won their last four consecutive fixtures.

Key to their run of form has been the free-scoring presence of Aleksandar Mitrovic, the only player to have scored more in the league than Ben Brereton this season with an astonishing 18 goals, including a hat-trick at the weekend.

Silva's inherited a side with the spine of their previous promotion success still in tact and if anything, Fulham are arguably stronger now than they were two years ago.

With both sides flaunting their attacking prowess in recent weeks, Silva suspects the more clinical side will prevail.

"We are looking forward to playing against Blackburn Rovers," Silva told Fulham's club channel. "It will be a really tough game for us but we go there with full confidence that we can get the three points.

"But I know as well that the other side will be a tough team to play against in a tough place to play. They are a team with quality, the ability and capacity to score goals. I think it will be a good game, an open game.

"They are stronger at home. They are getting good results and they score in all the matches they play at home.

"They create always big, big problems for all the teams they play against as well. It will be a tough game for us. We have to be aware of their capacity to make chances. We have to be ourselves, play our game and to create chances."


Wilson feels Fulham belief growing

Harry Wilson feels Fulham are full of confidence as they prepare to travel to Blackburn tomorrow night on the back of a four-game winning run.

Marco Silva's side hold a four point advantage over third placed West Bromwich Albion after beating the Baggies at Craven Cottage last weekend. The Welsh winger told FFCTV that victory was hugely important:

Saturday was massive. At the minute, we're in a good place. We're winning games, we're scoring goals, we're keeping clean sheets at the other end as well. Saturday was a massive game because with West Brom being the team directly below us, we knew that if we could go out there and get the three points it would open up a little gap for us. To put in the performance and get the win as convincingly as what we did, I think we put out a real statement.

The former Liverpool winger notched up his sixth assist as he produced a clever cut back for the Serbian to complete his treble on Saturday, but admitted that he has been disappointed not to add to his three Fulham goals in recent weeks:

I'm quite happy. I would have liked to get a few more goals. I think that I've had, I would have liked my goals return to have been a bit higher. I'm quite harsh on myself – but I feel like a couple of chances I've missed this season so far. I've just got to make sure I keep getting in those positions, improving there and helping the team.

Wilson explained that much of the confidence around the squad has been imparted by Silva himself, a key component in ensuring the 24 year-old chose Craven Cottage earlier this summer, and the head coach's meticulous planning.

At the minute, we've got belief. We have all season because of the way he works, the way we build up to games and the analysis we do on the other teams. We know that we're going into games with a definite plan. It is up to us as players to stick to that and, at the minute, it's working because we're on a fantastic run.

He knows that Fulham will face a tough battle at Ewood Park, with Tony Mowbray's men boasting an impressive home record and sitting in seventh place.

It's going to be a very tough game tomorrow night. They are on a good run at the minute off the back of a good away win at the weekend. It's up to us to prepare right today. We'll do our video stuff on them and make sure that we're ready to put on a good performance tomorrow night.


Jasper earns Bulgaria U21 call up

Fulham forward Sylvester Jasper has been called up to the Bulgarian under-21 squad for the first time this afternoon.

The teenager, currently on loan at League Two Colchester United, was born in London to a Bulgarian mother. Jasper has been named in Alexander Dimitrov's squad for two European U21 Championship qualifiers against the Netherlands on November 12 and Moldova on November 16.

The nineteen year-old left winger made his professional debut as a substitute in the 4-0 FA Cup defeat at Manchester City in January 2020. He made two further substitutes' appearances after scoring eight goals in seventeen appearances at under 23 level and signed a three-year contract at Craven Cottage. Jasper joined Colchester on loan in August has made twelve appearances for the U's and scored a late winner to beat Harrogate last month, which was his first senior goal.


Carvalho 'turns down Fulham contract'

Fabio Carvalho has rejected Fulham's offer of a new contract, according to the Sun's Tom Barclay.

The teenage starlet has turned down what Barclay describes as 'a substantial offer' and further negotiations are now unlikely with Carvalho's current deal expiring at the end of this season. Carvalho has been linked with a hosts of European clubs and the nineteen year-old has apparently been watched by representatives from at least ten Premier League sides this season.

He has just returned to Marco Silva's squad, appearing as a late substitute in Saturday's 3-0 win over West Brom, after missing nine matches through a combination of a toe injury and coronavirus. The attacking midfielder made five appearances under Scott Parker last season, with all of his league games coming after Fulham had been relegated from the top flight. He started the new campaign in fine form under Silva and has scored three times this term – adding a single assist.


'Not too sure if he is ready' – Fulham figure under consideration for vacant Barnsley job: The verdict

This article is part of Football League World's 'The Verdict' series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more...

Luis Boa Morte is one name being considered to replace Markus Schopp in the dugout at Barnsley, according to the Yorkshire Post.

The 44-year-old is back at Fulham after spending seven years there as a player between 2000 and 2007, joining this summer as Marco Silva's assistant.

He spent time under Silva at Everton as well but he has little experience in leading a senior team, with his only managerial job coming at Portuguese third tier side Sintrense in 2017.

Weighing up all the factors, would Boa Morte be the right fit for the struggling Tykes right now? The FLW team have had their say on the matter.

Chris Thorpe

This is one of the strangest links that I have seen to this job.

Boa Morte has little to no experience in management and is still very much cutting his teeth in coaching.

This would be a monumental step up for someone with no previous experience of managing in the Football League.

Barnsley need stability and clear leadership right now, not an appointment plucked out of a hat.

One thing that does go in his favour is that he has experience of working with young players from his time at Sporting Lisbon and Fulham, which is perhaps why his name has been thrown into the ring.

Marcus Ally

Left field, risky – sounds a bit like Barnsley to be fair.

Luis Boa Morte's only other manager role came at a Portuguese third tier side so this would be a very interesting appointment.

Assuming there are a lot of candidates for the job at Oakwell it would be quite peculiar to see Boa Morte get the job.

There is not a big enough sample size to try and begin to judge whether this would be a good appointment, it would certainly be a massive risk given the Tykes' position in the league table.

From a Barnsley supporters' point of view, I would be wanting someone with a track record of keeping clubs in the second tier and competing in the top half of the division with them, not risking Championship status on someone who has never had any relevant work experience at the level. Not for me.

Billy Mulley

Luis Boa Morte is certainly making strides in his coaching career, but I am not too sure if he is ready for a task as steep as keeping Barnsley in the Championship.

There is no doubting that Boa Morte is doing all the right things to be a success in management, but I would associate him with a lower end League One vacancy at the moment.

Boa Morte was an intelligent footballer, who read the game exceptionally well, and he immediately turned to coaching as soon as his playing career was over.

He is someone who lives and breathes football, but again, I am not entirely sure that this is a role for him.

I am still undecided as to what kind of a manager Barnsley need, and whilst I believe that they need someone with experience to help them out of the rot they found themselves in, a young, progressive manager could be the best for them in the long-term, especially when considering the youthful talent they have at their disposal.


Player development opens the door for Leeds United to revisit exciting transfer opportunity

Fabio Carvalho has reportedly knocked back Fulham's offer of a new contract, opening the door for Leeds United to revisit their past transfer interest.

Leeds were said to be in the race to sign Carvalho back in the summer – according to The Daily Mail, as reported by Leeds Live.

Ultimately, he remained on the books at Fulham. However, it doesn't appear that he will be there for long.

As per Tom Barclay, Carvalho has opted to turn down a 'sizeable' contract offer from Fulham as his current deal edges towards its final months.

Fulham will not be making another offer to the player, which casts his short-term future into doubt and suggests that, long-term, he will be plying his trade elsewhere.

Carvalho, 19, has scored three goals and registered one assist in the Championship this season for Marco Silva.

He also made four Premier League appearances last season, scoring once for the Cottagers, who were eventually relegated.

This is a transfer that Leeds need to be exploring again in either January, or next summer.

Carvalho looks a real talent at Fulham, mixing goals, creativity and unpredictability from the No.10 position.

He'd be a great coup for Leeds and someone that's not going to break the bank given this stand-off.

At 19, he's got plenty of time to develop, despite already showing that he could be Pablo Hernandez's successor at Elland Road.

Leeds still miss that touch of magic in the central areas, which Carvalho could certainly address.

You'd hope Leeds were already right on top of this development.


Fulham delivered blow in attempt to secure fresh contract for Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid target

Talented Fulham teenager Fabio Carvalho has turned down the club's latest attempts to extend his contract beyond the summer of 2022, according to The Sun's Tom Barclay.

The 19-year-old made his Cottagers debut last season in the EFL Cup before making his Premier League bow with just a few games of the season to spare, netting his first goal for the club in a match against Southampton.

Carvalho emerged as a regular starter under new head coach Marco Silva at the start of the season, and he repaid the faith shown by scoring three goals in his first five Championship matches, winning the EFL's Young Player of the Month award for his achievements.

The Portugal-born midfielder has only just returned from a foot injury and whilst he has been sidelined there has been many transfer links surrounding his name, with big guns such as Barcelona, Liverpool and Real Madrid all rumoured to be interested.

However the player and his representatives have turned down Fulham's latest 'sizeable' contract offer and it has been reported by Barclay that it's unlikely the Cottagers hierarchy will be making a fresh offer for the time being.

The Verdict

This is a big blow for Fulham's hopes of keeping the teenager beyond the summer and they may now have to consider offers from English clubs in January.

Carvalho has only just become a regular very quickly and it's unlikely that he will get that exposure at one of the big guns of world football despite being a clear talent.

But his head has clearly been turned at the interest and if a new contract isn't agreed by January then overseas clubs can enter pre-contract negotiations to take him for a modest fee in the summer.

No doubt Fulham will be doing their best to convince Carvalho to remain at Craven Cottage but his mind may already be made up and the turning down of new contracts may prove that.


'Don't play him', 'Harvey Elliott 2.0' – These Fulham fans left livid after latest Fabio Carvalho update

Fulham fans have been left extremely frustrated as it has emerged this evening that Fabio Carvalho has turned down a bumper new contract at the Cottagers.

Tom Barclay of The Sun has reported that a 'massive' deal was on the table for the 19-year-old, but he has turned it down and there's seemingly no sign of Fulham coming back to the negotiations any time soon.

It's even been suggested that the Championship high-flyers could cash in on the teenager during the January transfer window in two months time, although overseas clubs can approach for Carvalho on a pre-contract agreement for a minimal fee when 2022 arrives.

Carvalho burst onto the scene last season after signing professional terms, but it was only at the end of the campaign when Fulham were destined for the drop from the Premier League where he was given minutes.

The Portugal-born attacking midfielder scored his first goal against Southampton back in May and when Marco Silva was appointed as the head coach to replace Scott Parker at Craven Cottage he immediately threw Carvalho into his starting 11 at the beginning of the current campaign.

Carvalho ended the month of August with three Championship goals in five appearances and with his contract situation made public, more and more names started to be linked with his signature.

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Leeds United and others have all been touted as potential destinations for the youngster, whose head seems to have been turned with the growing interest, and Fulham fans reacting to the news on social media are understandably furious and some even want him to be banished back to the under-23's.


'They can match us' - Fulham boss wary of Blackburn Rovers

Marco Silva believes Fulham will have to be at their best tomorrow night, saying of Rovers: 'they can match us'.

Fulham have been in fine form with four successive wins, and 10 in their 15 league games so far, to pull clear in the automatic promotion places.

Key to that is Aleksandar Mitrovic who has scored 18 times, including eight in his last four outings, with Fulham averaging more than two goals a game.

Rovers are fifth in the division's scoring charts, and with good recent form at Ewood Park, leaving Silva in no doubt that Tony Mowbray's side will pose a test.

And that's why the Fulham head coach knows his side will need to come up with the right balance to their play to come out on top.

He said: "I expect it to be a tough, a very tough game.

"If you look and you analyse them, they score a lot of goals at home. If you look at the number of goals that they have scored, they are very close to the teams at the top of the table, which means that they have the capacity to create and to score goals.

"They have a lot of individual quality as well and its always a tough place to play.

"I believe they can match us, and I think it's a game that if we don't play to our best, compact and not with a good balance, then we will have problems."

Victory over West Brom on Saturday, courtesy of a Mitrovic hat-trick, moved them four points clear of the third-placed Baggies.

Bournemouth, unbeaten in their opening 15 games, lead the way by five points, but Silva is preferring to focus on results, rather than league standings.

He added: "We don't look at our position in the table. We know that the position we are in will just be a consequence of our results, I know all the managers can say the same but that's all our team must do. Our job is always to prepare the team in the right way."


Cairney starts: The predicted Fulham XI to face Blackburn on Wednesday

Saturday's 3-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion could end up being a pivotal moment for Fulham in the race for the automatic promotion places.

An Aleksandar Mitrovic hat-trick helped Marco Silva's side take all three points against promotion rivals Albion at Craven Cottage – securing a fifth win in six games for the hosts and stretching their cushion over third to four points.

Tomorrow evening they're back on the road as they travel to Ewood Park to face Blackburn Rovers, who have built up some momentum of their own by beating Reading and Derby County in their last two matches.

Tony Mowbray's side know how to make it difficult for opposition sides and have players that can hurt Fulham, so Silva will want to make sure he takes no chances with his selection.

With that in mind, we've outlined the starting XI we expect to see him name against Rovers...

Marek Rodak has started Fulham's last four Championship games – keeping three clean sheets and conceding just one goal in that time – and looks likely to reprise his role tomorrow.

Ahead of him there will have to be a change, however, as Tosin Adarabioyo was shown a straight red card against West Brom and faces a subsequent three-game suspension.

Michael Hector has been the backup centre-back named on the bench in recent weeks, so looks the most likely to step in and partner Tim Ream.