Fulham have sacked Slavisa Jokanovic following their disappointing run of games at the bottom of the Premier League table, with the side having attained just 5 points from their first 12 games, just one win to their name.
However, the bigger talking point is who they have hired as the gaffer’s replacement, with Claudio Ranieri being appointed as his successor.
Club chairman Sahid Khan announced the signing by stating: “Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option.
“So having someone of Claudio’s calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential. Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham.”
The 67-year-old Italian enjoys somewhat of a cult following in England after he achieved the unthinkable with Leicester City in 2016. It was this very benchmark that Khan cites, as he adds:
“His recent body of work with Leicester City is literally legendary, and then you look at Claudio’s experience with Chelsea and big clubs throughout Europe, and it’s pretty evident we are welcoming an extraordinary football man to Fulham Football Club.”
Ranieri’s opening statement for the club outlines how he isn’t a mere panic buy either: “It is an honour to accept Mr Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history.
“The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed. This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table.”
It certainly is wishful thinking to look at the parallels between this Fulham side and the Leicester side that preceded the Premier League champions. In particular, the clash between Fulham and Ranieri’s former employers is bound to be an interesting one.