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Talking Tactics

Seri's skills are tailor-made for Fulham

Adrian Clarke 15 Jul 2018
Jean Michael Seri

Adrian Clarke says that the central midfielder signed from Nice can be an overwhelming success at Craven Cottage

Adrian Clarke analyses the tactical impact Premier League summer signings will have on their clubs.

Jean Michael Seri

Ahead of their Premier League return the only questions to raise over Fulham’s slick midfield was a lack of recent top-flight experience.

Stefan Johansen is yet to feature in the division, Kevin McDonald made 26 appearances for Burnley, but back in 2009/10, and Tom Cairney played 11 times for Hull City, also nine years ago.

Identifying this as a possible issue, Slavisa Jokanovic has signed Seri from Nice.

Although the Ivory Coast international is yet to play in the Premier League, he has made 155 appearances in the top divisions of Portugal and France during the last five seasons.

He has established a reputation as one of the most influential central midfielders in Europe and looks ready for the Premier League.

Excellent passer

The 26-year-old should fit in perfectly at Craven Cottage.

He can play as a deep-lying playmaker or as a box-to-box midfielder and boasts outstanding movement, balance, skill and distribution.

He is always demanding the ball and happy to receive it in tight areas.

His quick feet and excellent range of passing will suit Fulham’s philosophy under Jokanovic.

Seri averaged 91.8 passes a match in Ligue 1 in 2017/18, with a success rate of 90.4 per cent. Cairney averaged 88.2 passes with 91.5 per cent accuracy in the Championship.

With the pair working in tandem, expect Fulham to be a possession-based side.

Seri and Cairney in 2017/18
  Seri Cairney
Passes/90 91.8 88.2
Pass accuracy 90.4% 91.5%
Chances created/90 2.27 2.26
Ability to break lines

I expect Jokanovic will use Seri in a way that makes him most effective in the middle and final thirds of the pitch.

While he can sit in front of the back four, Seri’s eye for a decisive pass could release the rapid Ryan Sessegnon.

Seri is quick too, accelerating past opponents to break the lines.

He created 2.3 chances per 90 minutes in Ligue 1 last season, and provided five assists.

Seri's three seasons at Nice
Ligue 1 Seri
Chances created/90 1.97
Dribbles completed/90 1.26
Passes/90 84.8
Forward passes/90 19.5
Succ. final-third passes/90 12.6
Goals 12
Mins/goal 726.9
Assists 21
Mins/assist 415.4

Seri has the talent to be one of the Premier League’s standout performers in 2018/19.

Starring for a side that will be built around his skills, this signing is likely to be an overwhelming success. 

Also in this series

See: Talking Tactics - 2018/19 summer transfers

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