Silva wants Fulham fringe players to stay

Fulham boss Marco Silva says he expects a quiet January transfer window and that the Covid-19 situation means he is reluctant to let players leave the club. 

Silva boasts the largest squad in the Championship, with 30 senior players at his disposal, but he said the recent sickness outbreak that affected Aleksandar Mitrovic, Harry Wilson, Harrison Reed, Antonee Robinson and Bobby De Cordova-Reid demonstrated the need for the league leaders to have plenty of cover.

Proven Championship performers like Michael Hector, Alfie Mawson, Josh Onomah and Anthony Knockaert have all had limited opportunities this season and could attract interest from other clubs.

But Silva doesn’t want squad players leaving in the second half of the season as the Whites look to push for an instant return to the Premier League.

Silva also believes selling Stefan Johansen and Aboubakar Kamara, offloading Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa on loan and releasing Maxime Le Marchand in addition to signing Wilson, Rodrigo Muniz and Nathaniel Chalobah at the start of the season has put the club in a good position.

“At this moment we are happy. We did what we should do last summer, as it is always tough for a club after relegation,” Silva said.

“Competition in the squad is tough and the squad is big as well.

“But it is not the right moment to talk now about changes because it’s the beginning of December and a busy period because of the Christmas fixtures.

“Unfortunately the Covid situation is back around us again and we are seeing some clubs battling with the situation.

“If you are look back a few weeks ago, we had a number of players out ill when it wasn’t Covid. We were struggling with options as there were six or seven out.

“You look at the situation around the world now, and with some clubs here in England like Tottenham and Leicester, it’s a good example of why you have to be aware and protect yourself as a football club.”

However, Silva did concede that some of the club’s young players may move in January, either on loan or permanently.

Tyrese Francois made his debut in the Premier League last season against Newcastle and started this season against Middlesbrough.


But he struggled to get back into the side before suffering an ankle injury in an Under-23s match in September before making his return on Wednesday in an Under-23s Premier League Cup fixture against Southend.

Francois is out of contract in June and has been stalling over the offer of a new deal.

Meanwhile, Steven Sessegnon spent the second half of last season on loan at Bristol City but is yet to feature in the first-team squad this season and, like Francois, is out of contract in June.

“Some young boys were working with us at the start of the season, but until now have not had that many chances to play,” Silva said.

“If we feel they need to be working then we will maybe take some different decisions in January.”