Fulham are reportedly battling with Premier League rivals Everton for the signing of Brighton forward Neal Maupay, and the Frenchman could prove to be a top talent in Marco Silva’s side at Craven Cottage.
Recent reports have placed Fulham as one of the frontrunners in the race for the former Brentford man, who appears to be surplus to requirements in Graham Potter’s side and could move to west London for £15m.
Since joining the Seagulls, Maupay has gone on to make 109 appearances for the south coast club, contributing 27 goals and eight assists in that time.
Last season saw the 26-year-old hit eight goals in the Premier League in 32 appearances, with 18 in his previous two campaigns before that, so he has consistently been able to find the net at this level.
Potter was full of praise for the forward last season, saying: “He’s been fantastic. Of course, he is disappointed not to play, but at the same time he has been a fantastic team player, he wants the team to win, he’s been really professional in his training, so when he’s called upon he’s ready to help the team.”
Should he make the move to Craven Cottage, he could be Silva’s own version of Lille striker Jonathan David, who has been valued at £46m by the Ligue 1 club.
According to FBRef, the Canada international is the most similar player to Maupay in terms of playing style. Considering that the 22-year-old hit 19 goals for Lille last season and has been tipped to blossom into an ‘elite striker’, Fulham would be foolish to turn down the chance to sign a similar player for a fraction of David’s reported asking price.
Last season saw Maupay and David register similar numbers in terms of goals and assists per game (0.32 vs 0.48), shots on target per game (2.33 vs 2.12) and progressive passes received (214 vs 212).
This emphasises that both players are penalty box poachers and boast a strong attacking positional sense which gives them a goalscoring advantage, something which Fulham could need this season should Aleksandar Mitrovic get injured or suffer a drop in form.
Maupay has been a consistent goalscorer in England for the past five years and he would as good as guarantee goals in Silva’s side based on his record in this country, so it is a signing which would make a lot of sense, especially if he can perform a similar role to David at Lille.