After he masterminded Leicester’s shock title triumph, Fulham will hope Claudio Ranieri can once again beat the odds and keep them in the Premier League.
The Italian was appointed head coach at the King Power Stadium in July 2015, and swiftly was nominated as the favourite to be sacked that season.
But in less than a year he won the critics round and turned the Premier League on its head – something Ranieri will have to repeat given the Cottagers’ current perilous position at the foot of the table.
Speaking to the club’s official website, the new Fulham boss said: “It is an honour to accept Mr. Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history.
“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.”
Fulham’s owner Shahid Khan also paid tribute to Slavisa Jokanovic, who lead the club to promotion via the Championship play-offs last season.
He said: “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,”
“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.”
Khan also revealed that several candidates were in the running to replace Jokanovic – but that Ranieri was the standout choice.
The Italian’s first game in charge for Fulham is a home clash against Southampton on November 24 following the international break.
“Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option, so having someone of Claudio’s calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential,” Khan added.
“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.”
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