Why Fulham have splashed out on Mawson

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Alfie Mawson has returned to west London

Fulham have spent £15m to bring former Brentford centre-back Alfie Mawson back to west London from Swansea.

Here are five of the reasons the newly-promoted Whites were prepared to splash out on the Hillingdon-born defender.

Young, yet experienced

Mawson is just 24 with, fitness permitting, a full decade of playing still ahead of him. He has, however, already amassed more than 150 league appearances across all four divisions. Having earned a first senior England call-up in March, Mawson will be hungry to continue his upward trajectory at Craven Cottage and claim a more permanent place in Gareth Southgate’s thoughts.

Eye for goal

Mawson has an impressive scoring record for a centre-back, having netted 24 goals so far in his career, many of them crucial ones. Indeed, of the six Premier League games in which he scored for Swansea, four of them resulted in victories. His ability to pop up with goals from set-pieces could be key for Fulham’s survival hopes this season.

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Mr Reliable

Mawson played every minute of Swansea’s Premier League campaign last year, the only outfield player at the club to do so. In a side whose chief problem was at the other end of the pitch, he offered a stabilising and reassuring presence at the back.

Pass master

Mawson completed more passes last season than any other Swansea player and has developed into a quality ball-playing centre-back. His passing ability will suit Fulham’s possession-based style of play, with Mawson able to take a role in starting attacks and controlling the tempo of possession.

Aerial dominance

Mawson was a commanding presence in both boxes for the Swans, with his total of 122 aerial battles won in the Premier League last season putting him top at his club and behind only West Brom striker Salomon Rondon among relegated players.