Wolves have been keeping close tabs on Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry with an eye to a possible move for the player.
TEAMtalk reported that Wolves were among several Premier League clubs eyeing up the 22-year-old centre-back, with Manchester City, Tottenham and Everton also interested in the player.
According to TEAMtalk, Middlesbrough are fearful of the prospect of losing Fry but would likely find it difficult to turn down any offer in excess of £20m for the defender.
Fry missed the first five games of Middlesbrough’s season as he was still recovering from a torn hamstring from last April, as reported by Teesside Live, but has been ever-present for ‘Boro in their last three matches.
He marked his comeback to action against Bristol City at the end of August by being given the captaincy, as reported by The Northern Echo, and delivered a performance of demonstrative leadership, winning no fewer than 14 aerial duels on the day. In addition, he won two tackles and made seven clearances and two interceptions. [via WhoScored.com]
So far this season, the 22-year-old has averaged seven successful aerial duels, two tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 3.7 clearances per game. [via WhoScored.com]
However, ball distribution is one of Fry’s biggest weaknesses. His passing accuracy for the 2019/20 season is a disappointing 72.7%, a figure heavily impacted by a very slack display against Cardiff last weekend in which he found a team-mate with only 13 of 27 passes for a success rate of just 48.1%.
Wolves’ main centre-back trio of Willy Boly, Conor Coady and Ryan Bennett do not have exceptional passing accuracy rates (79.9%, 78.3% and 76.3% respectively this season), but all three still rank above Fry in this regard.
The Middlesbrough man has a better aerial duels average than the Wolves trio, although Boly has still averaged an impressive 5.4 of these per game, with Bennett winning 3.5 aerial duels per match. Coady lags well behind with just 1.5 per game. Fry has also won more tackles per game this season than Coady (1.8) and Bennett (one). [via WhoScored.com]
While Fry outranks Coady and Bennett for successful tackles and aerial duels, Wolves already have a centre-back in Boly who is excellent in the air. Also, the Middlesbrough defender’s ball distribution simply isn’t good enough, notably inferior to the middling figures posted by Wolves’ centre-back trio.
Fry’s careless performance at Cardiff on Saturday came when he played in a centre-back three for ‘Boro, the formation preferred by Nuno Espirito Santo at Wolves, which would suggest that the 22-year-old might not be an ideal fit for that defensive setup.
Wolves would likely benefit most from bringing in a centre-back who is very efficient in possession and comfortable with operating in a back three, and Fry does not seem like that type of player.
Wolves fans, do you think Fry would be a good addition to the squad or should the club pass on him? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience