Fulham finished top of the 2021-22 EFL Championship season with 90 points to their name. They have earned automatic promotion to the Premier League next season after just one season in the English second division. Having played in the Premier League in the 2018-19 and the 2020-21 seasons, the Cottagers will want to avoid coming right back down. In this article, we will analyse Fulham’s performances and find the potential weak spots they have to improve on to stay in the Premier League.
Fulham had the third-best defensive record in the 2021-22 EFL Championship, having conceded 43 goals. The Cottagers trail Bournemouth (39) and Nottingham Forest (40) in this category. They have kept 17 clean sheets throughout the course of the campaign. However, they should be wary that they lost 10 games this season, which is two more than Bournemouth. Some of these losses include the 0-4 away defeat at Bramall Lane and conceding four against Coventry City back in November 2021. So, signing a proven defender is of utmost priority for Fulham this summer.
Going forward, Fulham have been the best team, not only in this season but possibly in the history of English football’s second division. The Cottagers have scored 106 goals this season, of which 43 came from one man, the Serbian striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. He has received support from the likes Fabio Carvalho, Harry Wilson and Neeskens Kebano, who have chipped in with 11, 10 and nine goals, respectively.
The Ivorian midfielder, Jean Michael Seri, was Fulham’s most successful threat creator in the 21-22 EFL Championship season. However, most of his threat has come from corner kicks. From open play, it is the left-back Antonee Robinson who has generated the majority of Fulham’s threat. The Welshman, Harry Wilson, finished not only as the team’s top assist provider, but he has also ended the league campaign as the highest assist maker, with 19 to his name.
Given above is the shot map of Fulham in this season of the EFL Championship, excluding the penalties. The Cottagers have attempted 738 shots and netted 102 goals (excluding own goals scored by opponents), giving them a conversion rate of 7.24 shots per goal scored. Aleksandar Mitrovic’s shot conversion rate is 4.2 shots per goal scored, which is very good, but pales in comparison to Son Heung-Min’s shot conversion rate for Tottenham in the much tougher Premier League, which is 3.76 attempts per goal scored.
Fulham may have earned automatic promotion, but they need a strong summer if they are to compete very well in the 2022-23 Premier League, with defensive signings being the top priority for the Cottagers. Mitrovic will be eager to prove his critics wrong, who have accused him of not being good enough for the English top flight.