Dael Fry: Who is Middlesbrough’s impressive starlet?

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The youngster has impressed at the heart of the Boro defence this season alerting a number of Premier League clubs, writes Sam May.

He was spotted playing for his local side Cleveland Juniors at the age of seven, and joined the renowned academy. Throughout the various youth teams, Fry has made an impression catapulting him forwards. In October 2014, he signed his first professional contract with the club.

Having spent last season on-loan at Rotherham United, he was a member of the England Under 20s squad that won the World Cup in South Korea last summer, and has represented England at every level from Under 17’s to the world cup winning squad.

He has played nine games under manager Garry Monk this season, but was taken out of the team last week against Norwich City, probably due to needing a rest at such a young age. A couple of weeks shy of his 20th birthday, the talented Teesside teenager has adapted to a pretty unfamiliar formation as though he’d been playing that system for most of his fledgling career.

Ex-Boro boss Aitor Karanka previously said about Fry: “Dael is a player who every single day impresses you. He is quiet, but sometimes you can still transmit your energy and focus, he’s the kind of player who doesn’t need to speak or say anything to show how good he is and how mature he is.

“He thinks about football, his training is always perfect, his attitude is always perfect. His character; you look at him, you look at his face and his face is the same one hour, or three hours before the game.”

Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton and Leicester are all interested in securing the classy young defenders signature. Whether his hometown club can keep hold of him is another matter.

If Ben Gibson leaves Boro in January or the summer, then Monk’s side have an ideal replacement. Fry has looked more than capable of filling one of the centre-back berths just about every time he’s pulled on a first team Boro shirt and could yet have a big part to play in the club’s promotion push, if they can keep hold of him.

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