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Fan Talk with Alan Drewett Jnr: Marco staying is Silva lining amid Saudi saga
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Marco Silva is staying at Fulham despite a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia
Marco Silva is staying at Fulham despite a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia

Alan Drewett Jnr, Fulham fan and contributor to, reveals how Saudi interest in three of the club's prized assets has disrupted preparations for the new season.

Premier League allure

I've watched Fulham in all four English professional leagues and the Premier League is definitely the place to be.

That said, I think it's too much like a business now. It seems to be more passionate in the lower leagues, where money has not completely taken over the game.

The higher up you go, it can almost feel like it's ruining the fun.

But ultimately, every fan wants to see their team play at the highest level, taking on the best teams in the country.

For a few years, supporting Fulham became hard work. 

But I think we're getting back towards the fun we had under the ownership of Mohamed Al-Fayed, when the likes of Louis Saha and Steed Malbranque were shining in the top flight.

Pre-season problems

Aleksandar Mitrovic was crucial for Fulham last season
Aleksandar Mitrovic was crucial for Fulham last season

I don't know what our owners have down to the Saudis but they seem to like us at the minute.

Everybody in their right mind had accepted that Marco Silva was going to head there and earn £40million over two years. We almost feel a bit sorry for him that he's not taken it!

Aleksandar Mitrovic is as key to us as Harry Kane is to Tottenham. 

I don't know whether he'll end up going but it's been disappointing to read stories claiming he refused to play for the club again.

If the Al-Hilal move does not happen, hopefully he'll play with even more anger in his belly because that's when he's at his best.

It seems like the Willian to Saudi move will not happen now as he and Silva have agreed to stay together.

Silva significance

Losing Silva would have been catastrophic for us.

He's been so important over the last two years and to see him stay, when he doesn't have the best track record in terms of showing loyalty to clubs, is great.

Hopefully he gives us another good season and then, who knows, one of the big boys may come in for him.

I feel like he'll have earned his stripes if he moves on next summer.

Survival remains the aim

Calvin Bassey is Fulham's biggest summer signing so far
Calvin Bassey is Fulham's biggest summer signing so far

The Saudi situation has certainly hindered preparation — it became a bit of a circus for a while, with a new story appearing every day on social media.

Suddenly, though, things are a bit more optimistic, with nobody actually leaving yet. 

Mitrovic appeared in the recent friendly against Hoffenheim, while new signings Raul Jimenez and Calvin Bassey look fantastic.

It's exciting... and funny how things can change in a couple of days in football.

We have to be realistic and say survival is still the ultimate aim. I think that's the case for eight or 10 teams in the division.

But I'm hoping we can have a similar campaign to last season. If we can finish anywhere from ninth to 12th, we'll have had a good season. 

Alan Drewett Jnr was talking to Adam Drury


Premier LeagueFulhamAleksandar Mitrovic
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