Pundit Adrian Clarke has admitted that he feels there is a huge difference in quality between Carlos Vinicius and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
The former footballer believes that had the Serbian talisman been playing on Sunday, the Cottagers could have walked away with at least a share of the spoils.
Mitrovic, missed the visit of Manchester United because of a persistent ankle injury, and his absence was always going to be felt.
The striker has scored nine Premier League goals, while his deputy Vinicius was called upon to make his second consecutive start at the weekend.
Marco Silva’s side ultimately came up short on the day, and Clarke has argued that there is a “gulf in class” between the manager’s striking options.
Speaking on the TalkSport GameDay podcast, he said: “I do feel for them. When they’ve not got Mitrovic, it is a big old downgrade, isn’t it for Vinicius.
“I don’t want to hammer him too much, but there’s a huge gulf, I think, in quality between those two.
“If Mitrovic played in this game, I think Fulham might have got something out of it.”
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With only Harry Kane and Erling Haaland having more shots on target in the division than Mitrovic this season (22), it was always going to be big boots for his Brazilian understudy to fill.
The 27-year-old did carve out some chances, recording two attempts on goal while also having a further effort blocked.
It was, however, the roughing-up of the opposition that Mitrovic has proved so successful at Vinicius couldn’t bring to the table.
He won just 3 of his 17 duels including 1 of 12 in the air according to Sofascore, and it is perhaps fair to conclude that United would have had an even more difficult evening had the Cottagers’ No 9 been on the field.