It’s likely the famous Dundee United Academy was a major influence on new Terrors boss Mixu Paatelainen’s decision to return to Scottish club management after four years away.
As nice as the luxury of having the first team filled with locally produced talent is, such a blossoming youth setup already looks to be causing the Finn a headache.
Following in the footsteps of such players as Ryan Gauld, Stuart Armstrong and Johnny Russell, Scott Fraser has become the latest academy graduate to illuminate Tannadice and catch the attention of bigger teams, along with teammate John Souttar.
Gauld, Armstrong and Russell all made respective leaps up the footballing ladder after impressing at United, moving to Sporting Lisbon, Celtic and Derby respectively.
Andrew Robertson is another member of Dundee United’s alumni to secure a big move, switching to then-Premier-League Hull last summer, although he was bought from Queen’s Park rather than developed in-house.
After his start to the season, there is a general acceptance around the Terrors that Fraser has the talent to follow suit.
The 20-year-old winger has only made 10 first-team appearances for United in all competitions (he was loaned to Airdrie last term, where he also shone), but has been a rare bright spot in a generally miserable start to the season.
Indeed the Dundee native’s showings have caught the eye of a trio of English clubs, with Premier League outfit Swansea the most illustrious.
The Welsh unit are reportedly keen to snap up the best young talent from Scotland and therefore have a real interest in landing Fraser. Nottingham Forest and the Rams are the other clubs mentioned in recent reports of English interest.
However, that Fraser has only just broken into the first team at his home-town club would suggest that he isn’t quite ready to break into a Premier League XI just yet.
That will certainly be music to the ears of Paatelainen, who bids to steer the Terrors off the foot of the Ladbrokes Premiership. His next outing comes in the formidable shape of Celtic and the former Kilmarnock boss’ side are an understandably lengthy price to win at 11/1.
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