Fulham have underachieved this season given the money they spent last summer, according to Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez. The Cottagers were promoted via the Championship play-offs last May and they set about trying to build a squad capable of competing in the Premier League, with then boss Slavisa Jokanovic handed £100million to spend on new players.
One such signing was the £22m capture of striker Aleksandar Mitrovic from the Magpies on the back of his good form in a six-month loan spell in the second half of the 2017-18 season. The Serbia international has hit an impressive 10 league goals this season although his return has been in vain as Fulham have already been condemned to an immediate relegation back to the second tier.
Newcastle sit 18 points clear of the west Londoners and are on the verge of securing a third successive season in the Premier League, having spent a fraction of the money. And while Benitez could not fault some of the signings that Fulham made, he intimated that spending big is not entirely the key to success. “I think Fulham signed some good players but for some reason they didn’t do what people were expecting as a team,” he told the Newcastle Chronicle. “We can’t talk too much about them because they did what they did.”