Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Chelsea One Of Many Interested In Middlesbrough Starlet: A Star For The Future?

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Diptanil Roy
Diptanil used to be a columnist of The 4th Official. Knows German and not afraid to use it on you.

Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea FC are rumoured to be tracking the development of Dael Fry, a highly-rated centre-back of Championship side Middlesbrough. The U20s England international has become a mainstay in this Boro backline and his string of good performances this season has earned him a call to the U21 England set up.

Fry, who has played for all England set-ups previously starting from U17s, has now nailed a starting berth in Garry Monk’s Middlesbrough side.

A number of Premier League sides are reportedly tracking the career of the England U21 international with Leicester City and Everton Football Club, apart from Manchester United and Chelsea, also interested in the highly rated defender. Fry has featured in nine games so far this season for Middlesbrough and his fine form will no doubt have more scouts scurrying over.

However, our Boro correspondent Josh Barker will have issues with my previous sentence. You can read all about his piece on how Boro is getting it all wrong under Garry Monk here.

Dael Fry is now a regular at Middlesbrough after joining the club in 2006 and working his way up through the youth set-up. Following the injury of Ayala, the erstwhile manager Karanka gave him his first chance to cover for the injured Spaniard and he played his first Middlesbrough match in a 0–0 draw against Leeds United on 15th February 2016. After the match, Karanka praised Fry’s performance.

Fry was also a member of the U20 England squad which won the World Cup held in South Korea. Fry’s international accolades though, began way before, when he was a part of the 2014 UEFA European Championship U17 side for England who went on to the win the tournament by beating Netherlands 4-1 in the penalty shootout.

It is therefore in no doubt that the big boys of the Premier League want to sign up the next big potential star but the question remains that if Manchester United and Chelsea were to sign him where would Fry feature in defences that already boast of the likes of Luiz, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Rudiger, Christensen, Zouma for Chelsea and Bailly, Lindelof, Smalling, Rojo and Jones for Manchester United.

Although Chelsea play a three-back system they have 5 players currently vying for those positions, all of them international stars with Zouma, the sixth one out on loan at Stoke City. They also have young Clarke-Salter waiting in the wings trying to break into the first team. It is therefore unlikely that Fry will get a regular place in the starting XI and eventually might become a part of Chelsea’s huge loan brigade.

As for Manchester United, they have five senior centre-backs covering two positions, all below the age of 30. Bailly looks like the most promising of the lot and has put commendable performances whenever called upon. That essentially leaves the other four centre-backs vying for one position and so Fry again might have to settle for the bench or go out on loan if he were to move to Manchester United.

A tough call to take for the England U20 star but the lure of playing in the Premier League will no doubt appeal to him. The question remains, is Fry brave enough to try his luck like Dele Alli did?

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