Why Southampton must sign Dael Fry from Middlesbrough
According to a report from 90min.com (h/t Gazette Live), Southampton are interested in signing Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry in the summer. The centre-back, valued at £20m, is also being pursued by Everton.
A product of the Middlesbrough academy, Fry has been with the club since 2006. The 22-year-old made his first-team debut back in 2015, but had to bide his to become a regular. He had a six-month loan spell away at Rotherham in 2016/17, following which he was slowly integrated into the Boro first-team.
A key player for the Teessiders now, he has racked up 95 appearances so far, contributing with five assists in the process.
Southampton’s defence needs bolstering
The Southampton defence has been found wanting over the course of the 2019/20 campaign. They have shipped in as many as 52 goals in their 29 league games so far. Only relegation battlers Aston Villa (56) have conceded more goals, while bottom-placed Norwich City have let in the same number of goals.
Currently, Southampton have four centre-backs on the books – Jan Bednarek, Jannik Vestergaard, Jack Stephens and Kevin Danso. However, the latter is only on loan and will be on his way back to parent club FC Augsburg. In addition, given the inconsistent performances of the rest of the defensive contingent, it would serve the Saints well to recruit a new centre-back this summer.
To that end, signing Dael Fry would be a good move by the club. The Englishman was a regular fixture in defence last season when Middlesbrough boasted the joint-best defensive record in the Championship.
While the Teessiders haven’t had the best season, the 22-year-old has fared decently. He has featured 27 times in the Championship this term, helping the team to 8 clean sheets. In comparison, Boro have managed just two shut-outs in the ten matches he has not featured.
The fact that he has captained the team on several occasions, despite being just 22 years old, showcases how highly he is regarded. Hence, signing him would be a good move by Southampton. The former England U21 international would add more depth and quality to the centre-back department. This would, in turn, help the Saints tighten up at the back.
- Why Southampton signing Olivier Ntcham would be a smart decision
- Why Southampton signing Axel Disasi would bolster their defence
- Opinion: Why Evan N’Dicka can offer Southampton stability at the back
Southampton have struggled defensively this season. Furthermore, their centre-back department will be short in depth, with Kevin Danso’s loan deal set to expire. Hence, signing Middlesbrough’s Dael Fry would be a smart move by the Saints. His arrival would add some much-needed depth to the club’s defensive ranks.