Scotland under-21 internationalist Ryan Fraser has been nominated for the English Championship Player of the Month award for August.
The left-sided former Aberdeen midfielder is currently on a season-long loan at Ipswich Town from English Premiership newcomers Bournemouth. The 21 year-old has put in a string of impressive performances for the Tractor Boys, who currently sit 3rd in the league table with manager Mick McCarthy targeting promotion to the big time.
Fraser’s pace and ability to both score and create goals from midfield has made an instant impact at Portman Road. During the first month of the league campaign, the eight-time Scotland under-21 cap has netted two goals, including a fabulous curled winner away to Preston North End, and created three others for his team-mates.
Fraser signed for Aberdeen FC in 2010 at the age of 16, making his first-team debut against Hearts in October of the same year under veteran ex-Scotland boss Craig Brown, who marked him out as a future star.
In December 2012, Fraser rejected the offer of a new contract from the Dons and just over a month later completed a £400,000 transfer from the Granite City to Bournemouth AFC.
After playing five times for his new employers in the second half of the 2012/13 season on the Cherries’ road to promotion from English League One, Fraser was a first-team regular in his first campaign in the Championship. In 37 league appearances, the Aberdonian scored three times. The following season he made 21 league appearances.
However, with Eddie Howe’s side now facing the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal in England’s wealthy top league, the former six-time Scotland under-19 cap has been farmed out on-loan to Ipswich, where he is now thriving.
Fraser’s fellow nominees for the Championship Player of the Month award for August are Birmingham City midfielder Stephen Gleeson, Burnley centre-half Michael Keane and Brighton & Hove Albion’s winger Kazenga Lua Lua.
All four nominees, despite their differences in position and the fact that none are strikers, were rather prolific in front of goal during last month. Not only has Fraser scored twice, but Gleeson has also netted two goals, Lua Lua has scored three times and even defender Keane has grabbed three goals, all thumping headers, from the back.
Regardless of whether he wins the competition or not this time, Fraser’s nomination demonstrates once again the breadth and depth of young Scottish talent currently coming through, hopefully to the benefit of the national teams at all age-levels.