This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
In an interview with Football.London, Arsenal legend Ray Parlour has urged his former side to make a move for Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser this summer.
Having seen the Gunners’ most natural wide players Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alex Iwobi struggle to really deliver big numbers last season, it’s been no surprise to see Unai Emery target a new wide-man this summer.
Reports in recent weeks and months had suggested that the club would be looking for a move for Fraser, particularly with the Scotland international’s contract expiring next year. Now, Parlour has given his seal of approval on a potential move for the 25-year-old.
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He said: “I’ve watched him a few times last year at Bournemouth, he’s always positive, he runs at players, he creates chances so sometimes you’ve got to take a punt on players and take a gamble and certainly he’s impressed me when I’ve watched him.
“I think Fraser would do a great job for Unai Emery. They’ve got to take a chance on him. The number of assists he creates is impressive.”
Valued at £27m by Transfermarkt, Fraser’s numbers in the Premier League were amongst the best. Scoring seven goals and providing a further 14 assists, the winger had a prolific campaign for Eddie Howe’s men last season.
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The diminutive winger struck up a fine partnership with Callum Wilson and showed all the characteristics Emery will be hoping to add this summer. Pace, directness and an end product. It is perhaps a damning statement of both Iwobi and Mkhitaryan that Fraser alone comfortably bettered their combined output in the top-flight last year.
Indeed, Fraser’s contract situation is only of added benefit to Arsenal and it will mean that they can potentially strike a deal for far less than what the 25-year-old would otherwise be worth. In an inflated market like today, a deal for Fraser makes both financial and footballing sense and Parlour is spot on in urging his club to make a move for the Premier League ready star.