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Fulham appoint former Chelsea and Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri as new manager

Fulham have appointed former Chelsea and Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri as their new manager. The Cottagers sit at the bottom of the Premier League table with five points from 36 possible. Despite winning the Championship playoffs last season with a swashbuckling style of play, outgoing manager Slavisa Jokanovic has been unable to win games in the Premier League. 

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Claudio Ranieri takes over Fulham

Fulham recruited heavily in the offseason, however, their summer signings have failed to fire. The Cottagers have conceded the league’s most goals (31) and Jokanovic was unable to improve their defence. Fulham’s inability to defend allowed Huddersfield — the Premier League’s lowest-scoring team — to pick up their first win of the season in gameweek 11.

The team’s woes have not just been in defence. Fulham have been held scoreless in their last three matches.

Ranieri joins Fulham on a multi-year contract. He most recently managed French Ligue 1 club Nantes in 2017-18. Ranieri led Nantes to ninth, just six points off of a top-five finish.

Fulham had given Jokanovic time to get things right on the pitch. After 12 matches with just one win and 31 goals conceded, however, club owner Shahid Khan began searching for Jokanovic’s replacement.

“Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option,” Khan said.

“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. 

“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 famously won the Premier League with Leicester in 2015-16 and brings a wealth of experience to Fulham. He previously managed Chelsea from 2000 to 2004, registering a 54 percent win rate.

Jokanovic had won a number of admirers for his work with Fuham in the Championship. His success led to links with Chelsea over the summer. However, the step up to the Premier League and his inexperience has led to Khan’s decision.

“I wasn’t anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slavisa and wish the circumstances were such that I didn’t have to, but our path this season has led me to make what I know is the correct decision, at the right time, for our players, the club and our supporters,” Khan explained. 

“Slavisa will always have my appreciation and respect for everything he did to return Fulham to top-flight football. 

“I am hoping everyone in the Fulham family shares my heartfelt sentiments for Slavisa and joins me in wishing him success and good fortune, wherever his next stop may be.” 

Can Claudio Ranieri save Fulham’s season?