Fulham returning to English Premier League after four years away

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Aston Villa's Mile Jedinak in action with Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Fulham are back in the Premier League after defeating Aston Villa in today's Championship play-off final at Wembley.

However, if the Midlands outfit were to secure promotion on Saturday they would need further additions to adequately equip themselves for the gruelling nature of the Premier League.

"I've been playing the whole season not fully fit".

Steve Bruce, ashen-faced afterwards and clearly ready for a break after a traumatic six months, will nearly certainly have to rebuild in their third and final year of parachute payments.

The 21 year-old has been offered a new contract, with his current deal running out at the end of next month, however, the signs are that he will not be sticking around at Hillsborough.

There was a lack of quality around Grealish, though, and Bruce will rue the absence of clarity in attack that prevented him from securing a record fifth promotion to the Premier League.

Indeed League One sides have been enquiring, however noises from Clare's camp suggest the feeling is he can play at a higher level than that where he featured on loan last season with Gillingham.

Any decision will be made when he returns from a much-needed summer break.

The dismissal resulted in tactical changes from both Steve Bruce and Slavisa Jokanovic but despite being down to 10 men, Fulham continue to show ambition going forward with Mitrovic seeing a volley from close range deflected over the bar.

The Cottagers were the better side in a feisty first-half, and they took the lead on 23 minutes. His lunge on Cairney just outside Fulham's own area was late and ugly and could have been a red card but was only yellow. "But let's not forget we are Aston Villa, a proud club, a big club". Jack Grealish, the best player on the pitch against Fulham despite seeing the artist-artisan balance tilted firmly against his side, asked Villa's press officer to shield him from the media as he walked through the mixed zone and it would be a leap of faith to predict him talking as their player again.

"I'm in charge of a really great club and I've enjoyed every minute of it", he said.

Fulham teenager Ryan Sessegnon, meanwhile, said: "It's been a fantastic season for me and the team".

Jack Grealish suddenly got involved in the game and he forced a save from goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli after a superb slaloming dribble through the Fulham defence. "We know what is ahead of us".

"I am 27 years old", he continued.