Newly appointed Fulham manager, Claudio Ranieri has been given a “multi-year” contract as Fulham hope a change of manager will lift them off the bottom of the table, after Slavisa Jokanovic managed just five points from 12 Premier League matches.
Fulham chairman Shahid Khan announced via a statement on the club’s website on Wednesday morning that Jokanovic had been sacked and replaced by Ranieri, who memorably led Leicester to the title in 2016.
It is a disappointing return for a club who were among the Premier League’s highest spenders in the summer, shelling out approximately £100million to bolster their squad following promotion from the Championship via the play-offs.
Jean Michael Seri, previously linked with Barcelona, was among the eye-catching arrivals, while World Cup winner Andre Schurrle also signed, as well as Aleksandar Mitrovic and Alfie Mawson.
Ranieri believes there is “exceptional talent” in the Fulham squad and he is already looking up the table ahead of what will be his first game in charge against fellow strugglers Southampton at Craven Cottage on November 24.
“It is an honour to accept Mr Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history,” said Ranieri, who has had a spell in charge of French Ligue 1 side Nantes since leaving Leicester in February 2017.
“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. I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage.”
Ranieri gained his first experience of the Premier League at Fulham’s neighbours Chelsea, where he was in charge between 2000 and 2004, but it is the job he did at Leicester which will live in the memory.
The Italian overcame odds of 5,000-1 to steer the Foxes to the Premier League title, the only top-flight championship of his long managerial career.