Martin Jol's transfer history in the Premier League fluctuates between the sublime and the ridiculous, and his dealings this summer look likely to go down the same bumpy path. In Mladen Petric The Whites have signed a player with a wealth of experience and one that worked with Jol during his days at Hamburg. Hugo Rodallega's four Premier League starts in 2012 for Wigan reflect his importance in the club's late survival charge, while defender Sascha Riether comes from a Cologne defence which leaked 75 goals and suffered relegation from the Bundesliga last season. A replacement for Danny Murphy appears unlikely.
Without preliminary qualifiers in the Europa League to contend with, Jol has the opportunity to ease his squad in before the new campaign, and if pre-season is anything to go by, then the signing of Petric could be a masterstroke. Five goals in seven games represents a decent start, while Rodallega and Marcello Trotta have also got in on the act to comfort fans concerned by a lack of fire power after Pavel Pogrebnyak, who scored six goals in 11 games on loan from Stuttgart, was allowed to join Reading.
Reasons why they'll be successful
Jol has formed an experienced spine to his Fulham side, with Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Mahamadou Diarra and Clint Dempsey the backbone of a squad with a series of exciting young players such as Kerim Frei and Alexander Kacaniklic, Moussa Dembele will be expected to improve on a goal ratio of one every 10 games, while the return tom full fitness of Aaron Hughes could be a vital addition to the back-four.
Reasons why not
Without Murphy, who by his own admission was beginning to waver last season, Fulham have no player who can keep the midfield ticking over, with Diarra the only purely defensive player available. Jol's insistence on partnering Hangeland with the hapless Philipe Senderos exposes them constantly, while the Dutch boss is likely to still be reeling from his inability to sign Pogrebnyak permanently.
With no genuine overachievers in the top eight last season, bar perhaps Newcastle United, Fulham can expect a tough job to finish any higher than ninth again given the lack of cash available for new players. Should Dempsey eventually leave the club, expected hopes to be slashed.
Mid-table mediocrity awaits. 10th