Fulham look well equipped to challenge for an immediate return to the Premier League – but the Championship is renowned for being a tough division.
Fulham are second-favourites (behind Leeds) at 3.25 to bounce back up straightaway. That’s only a 31% implied chance, demonstrating the tough competition they’ll be facing to get promoted.
The Whites face a difficult task but can feel confident, especially in light of star striker Aleksandar Mitrovic’s decision to commit his future to the club.
Mitrovic was widely tipped to leave after last season’s relegation and several clubs were linked with the Serbian, including West Ham and Everton.
His decision to sign a new contract is a huge boost for Fulham ahead of the new season and a statement of intent as the club seek a return to the top flight.
Mitrovic’s goals while on loan from Newcastle the season before last were instrumental in Fulham’s promotion and even during a doomed Premier League campaign he proved his goalscoring prowess.
The encouraging thing for Fulham is that they not only have a striker to be reckoned with, they also have the players to supply him.
The signing of Ivan Cavaleiro on loan from Wolves is a superb addition – expect the Portugal winger to run Championship defences ragged this season.
And there could be fireworks from Martell Taylor-Crossdale, who looked a great prospect at youth level for Chelsea before making the short move to their west London neighbours. The youngster will be one to watch.
It’s not all plain sailing. While Fulham have defied the odds to keep hold of Mitrovic, other star players are certain to leave.
Ryan Sessegnon, who has a year remaining on his contract and has been coveted by several top clubs, is set to fly the nest. Tottenham want the winger and there is also interest from the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Paris St-Germain.
Andre Schurrle has gone – his two-year loan from Borussia Dortmund was cut short – and Ryan Babel was always likely to move on after Fulham’s relegation.
John Michael Seri also appears to be on his way out, with a number of Italian clubs keen to snap up the Ivory Coast midfielder.
Even so, there still seems to be plenty of quality in that Fulham squad. And with the prospect of more signings still to come, their fans can approach the new campaign with a good deal of optimism.