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Ryan Fraser: The Wee Man with the big dreams
IF good things come in small packages, Cherries could have hit the jackpot by landing the Wee Man.
Ryan Fraser, who also goes by the nickname Ryzi, may stand only 5ft 4ins but his exit from Aberdeen incurred the wrath of the natives of the Kingdom of Scotland.
In just 23 appearances for the Dons, winger Fraser enhanced his reputation as one of the hottest properties north of the border, with Eddie Howe one of the first to spot his rich potential.
The 18-year-old first came to Howe’s attention when he was manager at Burnley and, chances are, Fraser would have ended up at Turf Moor had the landscape not altered.
Instead, he decided to swap the silver city with the golden sands for the Goldsands Stadium when he joined Cherries for an initial fee of £300,000 last week.
“When I heard Bournemouth were interested, I started doing my research,” said Fraser. “Everything looked very promising and the club is on the rise. It all looked very appealing and I knew this was the club for me.
“I went online to see how they were doing and it looked like a great club and a nice place to live. I noticed they were on an unbeaten streak and read about how they liked to play the game the right way.”
Fraser, who only became a regular for Aberdeen this season, had been tracked by a host of clubs with Huddersfield, Wigan, Swansea and Rangers rumoured to have been among them.
A product of the Dons youth system, he made his first-team debut in October 2010 before becoming the third teenager to leave the club for England recently, following moves to the Premier League for Fraser Fyvie (Wigan) and Jack Grimmer (Fulham).
“Fraser Fyvie was a great player at Aberdeen but has improved a lot at Wigan,” said Fraser, who was among the crowd to see Cherries narrowly beaten in the FA Cup by the Latics a week ago.
“I spoke to Fraser after the game |and he said what a good club Bourne-mouth was and what a good footballing team they were.
“I know Roberto Martinez said similar after the game so everything is positive about this move.
“Bournemouth dominated both games against Wigan and had been on a long unbeaten run until it ended at Walsall on Saturday. Hopefully, we are going to get promotion to the Championship. I don’t think the move showed a lack of ambition at all.”
Fraser, whose affairs are looked after by John McLeish, the son of former Scotland manager Alex, added: “Playing for Aberdeen was always an honour because it is my home city.
“It will always have a special place in my heart.
“My focus at Bournemouth is to improve as a player and try to help the team. They are going very well at the moment and, hopefully, I can be a part of their success. Coming here was a new opportunity and it is every boy’s dream to play in England.
“It is a very professional club with a very professional manager and staff. I love the way the manager gets the team playing football.
“What he has done since he came back has been phenomenal and I wanted to be a part of that.”
Fraser, who attended a Scotland under-19 training camp with Cherries midfielder Josh Carmichael earlier this month, has been named in a squad for a friendly against Holland in Veenendall on February 6. Both countries have qualified for the European Under-19 Championship elite round later this year.
Cherries were hoping Fraser would have received international clearance in time to be in contention for tonight’s League One clash at Hartlepool.
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