In an ongoing series of articles, FantasySports.co.uk will analyse the likely formation and performance impact that players would have on some of the Premier League’s greatest clubs. Today, we ask the question: ‘How would Bournemouth forward Ryan Fraser fit in at Liverpool?’
Our analysis series is to assist Fantasy Premier League managers in understanding the impact Ryan Fraser could have at the Anfield.
Analysis: How would Bournemouth forward Ryan Fraser fit in at Liverpool?
Liverpool focused journalists and bloggers were sent into a frenzy — or not at all — on Tuesday with the news that Bournemouth player Ryan Fraser could be available in January. Fraser’s contract is set to expire at the Vitality Stadium next summer, according to Transfermarkt, and could arrive at Anfield for a reduced price.
Even if the Reds are not able to land Fraser in January due to Bournemouth not wanting to sell, Liverpool could sign the forward on a free transfer next summer. The Reds have sent plenty of players to Bournemouth in recent seasons with Jordon Ibe, Dominic Solanke, Harry Wilson, and Nathaniel Clyne all playing for the Cherries.
Fraser would certainly be a back-up at Anfield with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah picked ahead of him. Even then, Divock Origi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Xherdan Shaqiri would possibly be higher in the pecking order. However, Fraser would give manager Jurgen Klopp more options and most importantly if signed in January, a fresh player ready to push on for the Premier League title and assumably the Champions League trophy.
Ryan Fraser by the numbers
Fraser has had great numbers playing for Bournemouth over the last three-plus seasons. In 2016-17 and 2017-18, Fraser exceeded his expected goals and expected assists numbers, according to Understat.
Fraser had his best season to date last term with seven goals and 14 assists. Fraser exceeded his xG figure of 4.76 and just missed his xA of 16.18. The assists number shows the finishing problems Eddie Howe’s side had last season. The Scotsman has scored just once this term while adding two assists.
Put into Liverpool’s squad, Fraser would have forwards far more capable of finishing chances, but where would Fraser play? Liverpool get width and attack in wide areas from their full-backs while the wings in the front three are tasked with pushing forward towards goal. Liverpool do not need any further central midfielders unless someone leaves in the summer. Adam Lallana is one midfielder who could go with Paris Saint-Germain and clubs in China and Major League Soccer interested in him. Fraser could slide into the centre of the park, but would Liverpool need him there?
Fraser has appeared seven times for Bournemouth as a right- or left-sided midfielder. Just once has he played as part of a front three.
So, would Fraser improve Liverpool? If he joins in January, it could give the Reds a boost in the title run-in. Whether he can play the advanced wide positions as well as what Liverpool already have is another question. Arsenal are also linked with a move for the forward. But even the Gunners may not need to add Fraser if he is available.