Why Burnley swapping Ben Gibson for Dael Fry would be a good move

According to a report from the Burnley Express, Premier League outfit Burnley are considering the possibility of using club-record signing Ben Gibson in a swap deal for Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry.

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 he had to wait to become a regular in the senior setup. He had a six-month loan spell at Rotherham in 2016/17, following which he was integrated into the first-team.

A key player for the Teessiders now, he has racked up 99 appearances till date, contributing with five assists.

Dael Fry broke into Middlesbrough's first-team back in 2015. (Getty Images)
Dael Fry broke into Middlesbrough’s first-team back in 2015. (Getty Images)

Usually one of the more solid teams in the league, Burnley haven’t been at their best defensively this season, conceding 47 goals in 35 league matches. So bolstering the defence should be something that manager Sean Dyche should consider.

As things stand, Burnley have four centre-backs on the books – captain Ben Mee, James Tarkowski, Kevin Long and Ben Gibson. However, Gibson does not seem to be in the plans of the manager anymore.

Indeed, since arriving at the club in the summer of 2018, Gibson has featured just six times for the Clarets. In the ongoing campaign, the 27-year-old has featured just once across all competitions. In fact, he has been training with boyhood club Middlesbrough since February and not with Burnley, indicating that he has no future at the club whatsoever.

Ben Gibson has struggled for game time this season (Getty Images)
Ben Gibson has struggled for game time at Burnley (Getty Images)

So swapping him for Fry this summer would be a shrewd move by Burnley. 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. In 31 league games, Fry has helped them to nine clean sheets. In the nine matches without him, Boro have managed just two shut-outs.

Despite being just 22 years old, Fry has captained the team on several occasions this season. Hence, signing him for a player who has no future at the club in the form of Gibson would prove to be a smart move for the Clarets. He would add more depth and quality to the centre-back department, which would, in turn, help them tighten up things at the back.

Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry in action. (Getty Images)
Middlesbrough defender Dael Fry in action. (Getty Images)

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Burnley need to strengthen their defence ahead of next season. And with Ben Gibson clearly not a part of the plans, trading him to sign Dael Fry would be a good move. The 22-year-old Fry would strengthen the Clarets’ backline.


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