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Tottenham Hotspur Prospect Rankings, #16: Ezekiel Fryers

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You probably expected to see this dude a little bit higher.

We have no photos of Zeki in a Spurs shirt, so this is what you get.
We have no photos of Zeki in a Spurs shirt, so this is what you get.
Ian Walton

When Tottenham Hotspur signed Ezekiel Fryers from Standard Liege, everyone thought they'd pulled off a bit of a coup. A sketchy coup that circumvented rules, yes, but a coup nonetheless. Tottenham attempted to sign 'Zeki' from Manchester United after his contract expired, but didn't wish to pay the massive compensation. He signed for Standard instead, then we bought him one transfer window later for less money than we would have paid United. Alex Ferguson was pissed.

As it's turned out so far, that was probably money well saved by Daniel Levy. During his first season in the Tottenham Under-21 team, Fryers was largely disappointing. He had occasional flashes of brilliance and it's obvious that he has the athletic talent to make it in the Premier League, but his skills seem a bit underdeveloped for someone his age.

Fryers played six games for Manchester United's senior team and seven for Standard Liege, but has yet to make the 18-man squad for Tottenham's senior team. He was marketed to us as someone who 'can play left back or center back', but he seems to struggle at both. While he certainly looks the part of a Premier League footballer before matches start, his positioning, awareness of the game, tackling and technique all leave something to be desired.

While Fryers has too much natural talent to be completely written off, he's down this far on our list because he's already 20 years old, and will be 21 early next season. Generally, by this age, players are starting to figure it out. They're starting to learn the nuances of the game, and their technique is mostly developed. I don't think it's unfair to say that Fryers is unlikely to become a first team player for Tottenham if he plays like a young teenager at 21.

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