Fulham boss Martin Jol has some work to do in the window.
Fulham's disappointing Premier League campaign ended on a bit of a high note as they picked up a 3-0 win over Swansea on Sunday. This result saw them jump up to 12th position with 43 points, and in the end they are clear of the relegation zone by seven points.
However, the fact that they were realistically still in danger until the last few weeks is not something the club wanted. Club brass will have quite a bit of work to do in order to make sure their club's fortunes will improve next season.
Problem areas need to be addressed, holes need to be filled and depth needs to be added. What follows is a closer look at some of the biggest areas of concern for Fulham as the transfer window approaches.
Statistics mentioned here are courtesy of WhoScored.com
Dimitar Berbatov tells his teammates what to do.
As forthcoming as Dimitar Berbatov's shirt statement was, the languid Bulgarian can't do it all on his own. Sure, he scored 20 goals in a Premier League campaign a few years back, but he was also playing alongside Wayne Rooney.
Mladen Petric was a solid signing for Martin Jol's side, and he rewarded Cottagers fans with a brace on his debut, part of a 5-0 thrashing of Norwich.
Since then, though, he has scored just three further goals, the last of which came in a 2-1 defeat to relegated QPR—in December. Rooney he is not.
Fulham's 50 goals scored this season aren't terrible. That's better than a number of the teams above them in the table. But just four goals scored in their last seven games before Sunday saw the club pick up just one point over that span, form which could have easily sucked them into the bottom.
After Berbatov's 15 goals, Petric and second striker Bryan Ruiz are tied for most goals on the team with just five each. Combative midfielder Steve Sidwell's four markers is a better total than striker Hugo Rodallega's three, a highly disappointing return for a solid talent.
There is also the emerging talent of Alexander Kacaniklic to address. The young Swede notched a goal against Swansea, his fourth of the season. He could definitely use some support as the primary wide threat for this club.
You can't win games if you don't score goals, and this team has failed to win games recently because they've not scored. That needs to be rectified sooner rather than later.
Perhaps Jol will pluck a diamond from the rough again like he did with Petric.
Brede Hangeland staring down his opponents.
On the other side of things, it's tough to win games when you allow more goals than you score. Fulham's 60 goals allowed puts them in the bottom third of the league rankings in that category.
Again, this needs to be fixed quickly.
The Cottagers already have a series of solid players already in tow in this part of their squad. Club captain Brede Hangeland headlines the group, having been a mainstay at the back for Fulham over the last five years.
The club's best summer signing after Berbatov was definitely Sascha Riether, brought in on loan from German side Koln. The German has had a terrific season at right-back, and as such the club has not hesitated in making sure he remains at Craven Cottage.
Beyond this pair, though, Fulham has been inconsistent. For example, Hangeland's compatriot John Arne Riise has dropped off a bit from the solidity he displayed in his days at Liverpool. He's been spelled at times by the likes of Kieran Richardson and Stanislav Manolev, a winter loan signing from PSV.
In the center of defense, Hangeland has been partnered by either Aaron Hughes or Philippe Senderos, a duo that can compete for playing time effectively. But beyond that, there is not much to speak of. Chris Baird is available, but he has mostly played in midfield this season.
But he, like most of the others already named, is aging. Some youth needs to be brought in here, not just to challenge for starting spots, but to set up a better future. Fernando Amorebieta has already been signed, but even he's already 28. It's a good start, though.
Mousa Dembele's impact has yet to be fully replaced.
When Mousa Dembele left Fulham for Tottenham Hotspur last August, it left a gaping hole in the Fulham midfield. After all, the Belgian midfielder was hugely influential in a fairly successful season for his club, as the Cottagers secured a ninth-place finish in the Premier League.
Without him, there are a lot of things lacking in front of the back line. Dembele's physicality helps him break up play, while he is also a solid passer of the ball. In other words, he can really help dictate the tempo of a match.
Giorgos Karagounis was brought in to shore things up, and by all accounts the Greek midfielder has enjoyed a good season at Craven Cottage. But he looks set to move on as he approaches the last years of his career.
Defensive-minded Mahamadou Diarra suffered a knee injury in December, ending his season. Steve Sidwell has a knack for the strong tackle—just ask Lee Probert—but red cards in two straight appearances isn't promising.
As mentioned earlier, Chris Baird has slotted into central midfield and was reasonably effective, but he hasn't featured since February. Emmanuel Frimpong and Eyong Enoh were brought in on loan in January, but neither has made the kind of impact required.
This is yet another position that needs definitive filling.
Is Mark Schwarzer looking at life after Fulham?
Mark Schwarzer has been a mainstay between the sticks at Craven Cottage. But he is now 40 years old and is seemingly ready to leave Fulham. It will be up in the air whether this situation gets resolved from inside or outside.
The inside option is David Stockdale. The 27-year-old has enjoyed a successful loan spell at Hull City. He helped guide the Tigers back to the Premier League. Fulham personnel will surely have taken notice of this and will probably look to bring him back into the fold with Schwarzer departing.
On the other hand, there is the long-running saga linking the club with Roma keeper Maarten Stekelenburg. The former Ajax stopper was close to a move in January, but that deal seemingly fell through. The club is still hot in pursuit of the lanky Dutchman.
It is possible that the club could consider having both men in tow. Stekelenburg would provide plentiful experience at the top level with Ajax, Roma and the Dutch national side, while Stockdale has a high comfort level in the English game.
Whatever the case, it will be important to hash out the situation quickly so that attention can be paid to more pressing areas.