Whelan Urges Tottenham Hotspur To Sign This Bournemouth Winger: Right Choice For Mourinho?

Newcastle United in talks with Ryan Fraser this summer (Fraser is in action in the photo)
Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth is challenged by Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United and Mohamed Diame of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United at Vitality Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan shared his thoughts on how Bournemouth’s Ryan Fraser will fit into Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho’s plans when he said, “Tottenham have got rid of a lot of wing-backs recently so there is definitely an opening because they have no replaced them.

“He has the athleticism to play that role, is dangerous going forward, and has the work rate and pace to get back and defend.

“The game has been transformed. It is not about getting to the half-way line and stopping. You are a defender and a winger.

“It is a great, exciting role to play but it demands a player with a certain character and level of fitness to do that.

“Ryan Fraser has got everything there to go and play in that role at a very high standard in the Premier League.”

It is worth noting that Fraser’s current contract at the south coast of England runs out at the end of this campaign so Spurs could land him for free if they play their cards right in convincing the underperforming Bournemouth star to make the switch to the English capital.

Fraser’s Underwhelming Season At The Vitality Stadium

Fraser failed to hit the heights of his incredible performances from the previous campaign when he banged in eight goals and provided 15 assists in 42 appearances for the Cherries across all competitions. However, he struggled to maintain his high standards this season after only registering one goal and four assists in 32 matches for Eddie Howe’s side on all fronts before the football season got postponed due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

The Scottish playmaker has averaged 1.0 shots, 1.6 key passes and 0.4 dribbles in every 90 minutes of football in the Premier League this season (stats via whoscored). His stats showcase just how much he has struggled to find consistency at the Vitality Stadium so far.

The Aberdeen-born winger has also earned 11 senior caps for the Scottish national side, finding the back of the net once for his country in the process. Fraser’s drop in form could affect his international career as he seems like a player who is struggling to find confidence on the field.

Whelan says Bournemouth's Ryan Fraser will fit into Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho's plans perfectly
Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth wears a Heads Up campaign T-shirt prior to the Premier League match between Sheffield United and AFC Bournemouth at Bramall Lane on February 09, 2020, in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

What Will The Scotland International Bring To North London?

The 26-year-old can use his electric pace and agility to make some driving runs out on the wide areas. However, he has failed to be productive in the final third, which explains why he has just got one goal to show for his efforts this season. Fraser has the vision to pick out a decisive pass in the opposition half and is also an excellent crosser of the ball. But he has been guilty of being a bit sloppy in possession after only completing 79.9% of his attempted passes in the Premier League this term (stats via whoscored).

Is Fraser The Right Choice For Spurs?

Even when the Scottish wing wizard is not firing on all cylinders, he has shown outstanding work-ethic to help his team both on-and-off the ball. Therefore, Fraser shouldn’t have any trouble settling into Mourinho’s playing style if he ends up making a switch to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer. The Portuguese tactician wants his players to work hard at both ends of the pitch, so Fraser fits the bill perfectly.

However, the Bournemouth attacker’s lack of productivity will be a significant cause for concern as he might struggle to perform at a high level for Spurs in the years to come. At the same time, a change of scenery could provide him with the opportunity to make a fresh start by rediscovering his old form in English football.

Fraser will not only add some creativity to the Tottenham attack but also enhance the overall depth of their squad. He will also offer some healthy competition for the likes of Dele Alli, Lucas Moura, Erik Lamela and Ryan Sessegnon in the race to secure a regular starting berth at North London. With all things considered, Fraser will be a risky acquisition for Mourinho. However, the fact that he will be available as a free agent makes him a decent choice for Spurs to pursue during the summer transfer period.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.