Championship clubs want Fulham’s Stansfield, says Silva

Fulham boss Marco Silva admits young striker Jay Stansfield is desperate to go out on loan again – but is reluctant to sanction a move until the club sign another forward.

The 20-year-old spent last season with League One outfit Exeter City, the club he left to join Fulham in 2019, and was named on the bench for Saturday’s win at Everton in the Premier League season opener.

However, with the Whites braced for the departure of Aleksandar Mitrovic to the Saudi Pro League before the transfer deadline closes, Silva insists he has to decide what is best for the club, not just the player.

A number of Championship clubs have expressed an interest in signing the England Under-20 international, who scored nine goals in 37 appearances for the Grecians – including a hat-trick on the final day of the season.

“It is a good sign that all these clubs, and they are good Championship clubs, want Jay,” Silva said.

“It is good for his confidence. He is a fantastic boy, we all love him at this football club.

“I know he wants to play football and to be on the pitch every single weekend and in every single match.

“We are going to take a decision for him but it depends on our market as well and our squad.

“It is up to us to decide whether he should go out and play games week in week out.

“Even if it was in a lower division for eight months at Exeter, he has come back stronger and grown as a football player.

“But it is important for us where he plays. We don’t want to put him at just any club.

“He needs to go to a club that play in a certain way, that is important for us as well.

“I am in contact with him every day, I know what he would like to happen but let’s see what is best for the club as well.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Luke Harris is unlikely to go out on loan.

The 18-year-old made his Premier League debut last season against Aston Villa and was named in the World Cup squad by Wales last year despite not being capped at senior level, only to withdraw for personal reasons.

“Luke is young and has time to grow,” Silva said.

“Sometimes young players can go out on loan and not play, so it may be better if he stays here with us.

“But he and Jay are the future of this club so any decision we make will be important.”