I had been mulling over this post for a few days now but after his performance today, how could I hold off writing about the potential of Ryan Fredericks for much longer? Playing as more of a wing back against Cardiff in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup, Fredericks was integral in both Fulham goals eventually earning him a deserved Man of the Match award as Joe Bennett will struggle to tie his own shoelaces with the dizzying display from our speedy full back.
A bizarre signing initially as he left Bristol City after 26 days in the South West of the country, citing personal reasons for his motivation to come back to London. Bristol City’s loss was the gain of Fulham FC as they snapped him up matching the alleged lower than £250k fee it cost for the Robins to sign him initially. Ryan Fredericks had a mixed first year at the football club, taking part in what would eventually become a one sided battle for the right back position with Jazz Richards, playing in a number of different systems under both Kit Symons and Slavisa Jokanovic (and also experiencing game time on the wing), a product of the Tottenham Hotspur academy, Fredericks also suffered from frequent niggling injuries keeping him out for weeks at a time and noticeable drops of energy in every game he played – running at lightning speed before being desperately shattered at the hour mark in every game.
The injury issues appeared to be continuing for Ryan as he walked off injured in our second official friendly in pre-season against Brighton just days prior to the team flying out the Portugal. Fredericks had surgery on August the 1st ahead of a 10-12 week recovery period which wouldn’t see him back in a Fulham shirt until October. The beneficiary of the owner connection and everything being bigger and better in America, Fredericks spent a chunk of his rehab in Jacksonville with the Jaguars enjoying intense sunshine and getaway training to recover.
And recover he has, since coming back into the Fulham line up, Fredericks has lost just one of the matches he has started (against League leaders Brighton and Hove Albion) whilst blitzing the involvement in goals from the previous season – a mere one assist – to sitting on four with so long in the season yet to go. A genuine game changer with lightning speed, Ryan doesn’t overly rely on it in defence positions as many speedsters have in years gone by. Relatively comfortable when closer to his own goal and an astute defender of his far post, Fredericks does however hold an issue with discipline; picking up 6 yellow cards in his 12 games back from injury. An issue that will need to be eradicated for his ability to take serious looks from those in the division above, I genuinely believe that the former district champion in the 100m and triple jump competitions has the core qualities to get to the highest level of English football.
Should Ryan Fredericks be able to keep himself fit and flying, importantly keeping that electric fleet of foot running for 90 minutes on a consistent basis, harness his feisty nature on field into disciplined defending and continue to provide in the final third, Fredericks’ ceiling is very high indeed. Thanks must go to Slavisa Jokanovic and the clubs’ Head of Medical and Sport Science Marco Cesarini for the intensity of training sessions and improvement of his conditioning – it’s now down to Ryan Fredericks to continue his already quick development, and at only 24 years of age, Fredericks is looking every bit like a player you could shine up to take into the Premier League.