Gerken: Ryan Will Be a Premier League Player Next Season
Friday, 15th Jan 2016 09:31
Town keeper Dean Gerken is convinced on-loan winger Ryan Fraser has a big future ahead of him with parent club Bournemouth.
Scottish U21 international Fraser is set to return to the south coast next season and, if the Cherries survive their first-ever campaign in the top flight, temporary colleague Gerken sees him becoming an established figure there.
Fraser’s absence with a knee ligament injury coincided with Town’s depressing run of form that saw them slide towards mid-table, but since his return he has helped lift the team into fifth spot, six points adrift of second-placed Hull.
Gerken said: “I don’t want to give Ryan a big head or anything like that but we know how fortunate we are to have him here. We’ve also got Ainsley [Maitland-Niles], who has been absolutely brilliant for us, and we’ve got Tommy Oar to come into the team as well when needed.
“With Ryan – and I really don’t want to blow his trumpet for him – I think he will be a Premier League player, playing consistently, with Bournemouth next season.
“You look at what he can do – he’s two-footed for a start. I was watching the Portsmouth game and I genuinely had to ask if he was left or right-footed, that’s how good he is with either one.
“He’s got everything and while there’s not much of him he’s sharp, strong and you don’t see him getting pushed off the ball. If gets his head right and does what he knows he can do I’ve got no doubt he’ll be a regular in the Premier League.”
Meanwhile, Gerken believes his own form has been consistent for some time, adding: “I suppose it’s been as good as at any time since I’ve been here. To be honest I just take it a game at a time and I know it’s a lot easier to praise me when we’re winning week in, week out.
“I wasn’t getting praised when we were on that bad run but I believe I’ve been consistent form-wise since I came into the team back in August.
“Okay, I wasn’t happy with what happened at Reading, but apart from that game I’ve been happy with my performances all the way through and not just the last two months or so. I’ve enjoyed it ever since I came in and I love doing what I’m doing.”
Some fans have made it clear they prefer second-choice keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, but boss Mick McCarthy stuck to his guns and kept selecting Gerken, who appreciated the backing of his manager.
Gerken said: “He does it with everyone and he does it an awful lot. At the end of the day he’s the only person whose view matters to me and if he’s picking me it gives me a lot of confidence. I’ve enjoyed helping to get us out of the situation we were in when we weren’t winning.
“Being a part of lifting us from where we were in the table then to where we are now means a lot to me. We’ve come through that difficult time and I think it shows the mental strength in our team. We are getting the plaudits now but everyone was writing us off two months ago.”
Photo: Action Images
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