Aleksandar Mitrovic needs “support” to get the Fulham striker back to goalscoring form, says boss Marco Silva.
Mitrovic had a poor 2020-21 that saw him net just three times in the Premier League as the Whites went down.
It was in stark contrast to the previous season, when he won the Championship Golden Boot with 26 goals.
There has been speculation that he could leave Craven Cottage this summer.
But his new boss has made it plain he believes Mitrovic is going to be vital to the cause as Fulham look to return to the top flight.
Silva said: “I think for all, for me as a manager for our football club and the fans, Mitro is a key player for us.
“He already showed that in the past, in the Championship, he has proved that as well in the Premier League.
“Last season was not the best season for him. He knows that and I know as well, but we are here to support him, to give the conditions for him to score goals – and important goals and to win football matches.”
And former Hull, Everton and Watford boss Silva revealed he twice tried in vain to sign Mitrovic.
Silva said: “I know his quality. I was really close to working with him before I joined Fulham, twice, and now I’m working with him.
“His work-rate and his motivation to be with us – he will be a key player for us for sure.”