Silva urges Fulham board to sign new striker

Fulham boss Marco Silva says he will be pushing the club’s board hard to ensure his squad is reinforced before the transfer window closes on Thursday.

Silva takes his unbeaten side to league leaders Arsenal on Saturday but is disappointed not to have any extra striking options available to him for the game at the Emirates Stadium.

Neal Maupay was in talks with the Whites this week after a fee was agreed with Brighton for the former Brentford striker who had looked close to completing a return to west London.

However, Everton matched the £15m offer and the Frenchman has instead opted to join the Toffees and could be in the squad to face his former club at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday if the paperwork for his move is completed in time.

Silva said he is happy with the start his team have made after three games with five points on the board and talismanic striker Aleksandar Mitrovic already matching his tally from his last stint in the Premier League in 2020/21 with three goals for the campaign.

However, with long-term injuries to new signing Manor Solomon and Harry Wilson, as well as the loss of Fabio Carvalho to Liverpool, Silva said his team do not have enough attacking alternatives to the in-form Serb.

“It is difficult for all the clubs at this level, even for the ones with much more power than us and different budgets,” Silva said.

“They have difficulties as well but for us maybe the problems are different.

“But the delays are getting longer. The Premier League has already started and we have also had some bad luck with unfortunate long-term injuries and they are all in the one position.

“It is taking more time than I would like, the striking position is one in particular we need.

“I am playing with just Mitrovic and he is doing an amazing job and scoring goals and full of confidence.

“But when you look at the bench we don’t even have one striker and that is not a normal thing.”

Unlike after previous previous promotions to the Premier League, Fulham have been relatively restrained the summer transfer window, with just seven signings made compared to 13 in 2020/21 and 15 – at the cost of over a £100 million – in 2018/19.

However, Silva does not believe Financial Fair Play rules are a reason for the club not bringing in more players.

“Financial Fair Play cannot be an excuse for everything,” he said.

“Maupay was a player who was linked with us and he was really close to coming to us.

“But the most important players are the ones we have here.

“They are the best players for me and I have to work with them.

“But behind the scenes I have to do my job and push everyone at this football club to do well in these next few days because the delay has been big for us.”