Fulham are facing a real challenge to keep their place in the Premier League but now they are also facing a fight to keep hold of one of their brightest young prospects in Matt O’Riley.
The 6″2 playmaker has caught the eye of a handful of German clubs including giants Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.
This follows the trend of talented English youngsters heading over to Germany to continue their development after Jadon Sancho and Reiss Nelson have flourished at Dortmund and Hoffenheim respectively.
It’s no surprise that O’Riley could be the next to make the switch to the Bundesliga, he possesses all the qualities to one day become a top-class midfielder.
What is Matt O’Riley’s style?
The midfielder rarely gives the ball away and has great vision when attempting to pick out passes. Of course, he is yet to play at Premier League level but if he can translate these skills to the top level he will be some player.
If O’Riley continues to develop his game he could be in the perfect mould to fit into Pep Guardiola’s Man City side. his best attributes are recycling the ball and riding challenges whilst not being dispossessed. Combine this with his ability to pick out a pass and you’ve got an incredible modern midfielder.
It is hard to find a comparison with a top-level player at the moment as the Englishman has a unique blend of size, skill, agility and intelligence.
He is tall and commanding but at the same time he can pick out a pass or beat a man, above all else you can tell that O’Riley is incredibly comfortable on the ball and has the ability to make something happen.
Rumours have circulated that Fulham are in the market for Danny Drinkwater to bolster their midfield but Claudio Ranieri may live to regret not giving the youngster a shot at Craven Cottage if he gets a move to one of the biggest clubs in Germany.
What has been said about Matt O’Riley
“Matt is a very talented midfielder. He has excellent creativity, is a terrific passer and makes intelligent decisions.
“It was excellent to see him make his debut in the Carabao Cup game against Wycombe. He showed maturity beyond his years and will have benefited greatly from the experience.
The midfielder hasn’t played first-team football often but he has been playing beyond his years at the youth levels playing with the U23’s since the age of 16.
Dortmund have sent scouts to Fulham to keep an eye on the youngster and they were very impressed by what they saw from the 18-year-old.
“It’s amazing” The scout said.
“Fulham spent however many millions in the summer for two midfielders and we wouldn’t pay for either of them but O’Riley can’t get in the team and we’d pay for him.”