Edwin van der Sar cautions Fulham not to go 'full throttle' in summer window
LONDON -- Fulham should not go "full throttle" with their spending in a bid to maximise their chances of surviving in the Premier League next season, according to former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.
Slavisa Jokanovic's men secured a return to the top flight with a 1-0 win over Aston Villa in last month's tense Championship playoff final, a match that was estimated to be worth around £160 million to the victors.
Defeat at Wembley has left Villa in serious financial trouble, with chief executive Keith Wyness suspended last week and administration only narrowly avoided amid reports that the club must cut around £15m from its wage bill to remain solvent.
Fulham, in contrast, now have the means to keep the highly-rated core of their promotion side together while strengthening their squad for a Premier League campaign, but Van Der Sar, who serves as Ajax's chief executive, warned that owner Shahid Khan should not go overboard in the transfer window.
"I think it will be nice for Fulham to keep the guys they want to keep, and of course add some quality to the team," Van Der Sar said last week ahead playing in a World XI for Soccer Aid, which raised more than £5.5m for UNICEF at Old Trafford on Sunday.
"I watched the playoff final with my son. The first half I think they were the better team, second half they suffered a little bit, but it's great to see them back up [in the Premier League].
"But I wouldn't go full throttle and throw everything that you earned this year into the team. Make sure you have a stable organisation, a stable background. You've seen with other clubs that have got promoted that it's not impossible to stay up in the first year [without spending big]."
Several of Fulham's key players have been linked with moves elsewhere -- not least Ryan Sessegnon, the 18-year-old winger who has reportedly attracted serious interest from Tottenham after registering an astonishing 16 goals and eight assists in the Championship last season.
But former midfielder Danny Murphy, who played for England XI at Old Trafford, believes midfield playmaker Tom Cairney is the player that Jokanovic would miss most in the Premier League.
"Cairney is a terrific player," he said. "What I like about him is he tries to make things happen, make a difference in the final third.
"I think he probably could be a bit fitter. That's not saying anything against him because that will come with playing at the next level anyway. He missed quite a few games, and they need to keep him fit because at the moment he is the one, the game-changer."
Murphy was full of praise for the progress that Jokanovic and his players made last season, though he expects that both will need help to build on their success in the top flight.
"They play terrific football and the manager's done a terrific job with limited resources compared with other big clubs in the Championship," he added. "But they need players. A bit of experience and a bit more legs."
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Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.