Former Premier League manager Tim Sherwood has tipped Everton as a suitable destination for AFC Bournemouth attacker Ryan Fraser, as told to Sky Sports’ The Debate (via HITC).
Fraser has entered the final year of his £27,000-a-week (Spotrac) contract at the Vitality Stadium, after the Cherries poured cold water over talk of a potential sale in the summer amid consistent links with a move to Arsenal.
Arsenal were credited with interest in the 25-year-old as they sought to secure competition at the Emirates Stadium for now-Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi (Independent), and identified Fraser as he enjoyed a profitable 2018/19 working under Eddie Howe on the south coast.
The Scotland international ended the campaign as the Premier League’s second-most creative option with 14 assists to his name – one shy of former Chelsea winger Eden Hazard – while also contributing seven goals, the joint-third most successful strikes of any Bournemouth player in the top flight.
As strong as his form was, the Cherries placed a £30m asking price on the Aberdeen-born talent, as 20% of any fee received would be redirected to his boyhood Scottish Premiership side, but Bournemouth later moved to end all talk of a transfer and stated that Fraser had been offered a new contract.
But he is yet to sign a new deal on the south coast with Howe’s side, who have started the campaign with one win in four games, with Fraser assisting once and failing to score despite his constant presence on the field (WhoScored).
Sherwood has now suggested that Fraser should be looking to move up a tier from Bournemouth, but is not yet at the level for an Arsenal move.
“It’s important for him to go somewhere and not have two years off,” the unemployed head coach said. “The next move for him, and no disrespect to Bournemouth, is one just underneath [the top six].
“Like a Leicester or an Everton. And then he’s still young enough to make that next step.”
If Fraser does hit the market as a free agent next summer, there could be a plethora of options on the cards for the Scotland international if he can help to inspire a run of more favourable results on the south coast.
Depending on the form of the current top six, the sides who miss out on Champions League qualification may again turn their focus to Fraser, but he will have to be careful of selecting a side where he will not play regularly.
Even a move to Everton would not return guaranteed minutes, as the Blues currently boast Iwobi, Richarlison and Bernard as first-choice wingers, with Iwobi and Richarlison clear favourites of Marco Silva having spent up to a combined £84m to acquire them in the past year.
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