Fulham promoted back to Premier League as Aleksandar Mitrovic reaches 40 for the season

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Sky Bet Championship match at Craven Cottage

Fulham are back in the Premier League, winning promotion at the first time of asking after a 3-0 win over Preston on Tuesday evening secured their return.

The Cottagers, promoted back in 2020 via the play-offs, were relegated just a year later after finishing 18th with 28 points. However, after Scott Parker departed and took charge at Bournemouth, the south-west London club brought in former Everton boss Marco Silva.

And the Portuguese coach has watched his side make light work of their time back in the second tier.

Indeed, they have had promotion in sight for a number of weeks. However, they were finally able to officially celebrate on Tuesday evening following a 3-0 win over Preston at Craven Cottage.

The victory came courtesy of talisman striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored twice to take his tally to an incredible 40 goals for the season.

He opened the scoring after just nine minutes, before adding a second on 41. The other Fulham goal came after 34 minutes through Fabio Carvalho, the youngster who appears likely to sign for Liverpool this summer.

Serbian striker Mitrovic is now just two goals shy of Guy Whittingham’s all-time record tally of 42 goals in a single season in the second tier.

And he has four matches left to try and match, and possibly better, that tally.

In total, the Cottagers have scored an astonishing 98 goals this season from their 42 games played. They also now have 86 points on the board – and could reach 98 if they are to win their final four matches.

Whittingham tribute to Mitrovic after Fulham promotion

Whittingham has saluted Mitrovic for ending his reign as the last man to score 40 goals in an English league season. However, the Portsmouth great believes the Fulham striker will be even happier with promotion.

Mitrovic scored twice against Preston to reach the magical landmark last achieved when Whittingham went on to notch 42 for Portsmouth in 1992-93. His efforts, in a sense, were for nothing with Pompey ultimately missing out on promotion.

Paying tribute to Mitrovic, Whittingham saluted the Serbian.

“Fond memories obviously, but the lasting memory was the disappointment of not winning promotion,” Whittingham told the PA news agency.

“That was the closest I got to a promotion, they come around very rarely.”

Mitrovic’s goals have come in 38 appearances and Derek Dooley’s post-war record in the second tier – 46 for Sheffield Wednesday in 1951-52 – could still be within range.

“I think there was one even longer ago got 56 or something,” said Whittingham, referring to George Camsell’s 59 for Middlesbrough in 1926-27. “That’s just crazy.

“(Mitrovic) needs (three goals in four games) to beat mine so I can’t see him not doing it.”