Dael Fry is Middlesbrough's FC's Virgil van Dijk says Neil Warnock

MIDDLESBROUGH manager Neil Warnock have equated the influence of Dael Fry at the Championship club as equivalent to that of Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk at the Premier League champions.
Middlesbrough's Dael Fry. Photo:Mike Egerton/PA Wire.Middlesbrough's Dael Fry. Photo:Mike Egerton/PA Wire.
Middlesbrough's Dael Fry. Photo:Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Fry made a telling return for Boro in Saturday’s excellent win at Reading, turning in a fine defensive performance while also setting up the visitors’ opener from Ashley Fletcher in the 2-0 win.

The centre-half had previously excelled in his previous fixture at leaders Norwich City, turning in an imperious display in the heart of the back four, only to unfortunately pick up a calf issue which sidelined him for the club’s next three matches.

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Warnock has talked up the importance of Fry throughout this season and believes that there are no better centre-backs in the division.

Warnock, whose side welcome Bristol City tomorrow - seeking a third victory on the spin to keep the pressure on fifth-placed Reading and the side just below them in Bournemouth - said: “The headlines that shocked me yesterday were a group of people wanting Jurgen Klopp out. That is football at its craziest.

He has lost the best centre-half in the world (Virgil van Dijk) and you cannot replace them.

“You can put people in and think you can do this.. But you cannot replace quality like that.

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“And we cannot replace Dael. He is our best centre-half by a mile.

“We can play around him and if Dael is fit, we have got different people to fit here and there. But we cannot replace Dael. He is the complete player for me.

“If he could talk and score goals, he would not be with us. But that will come. That (Saturday) is the first time I have seen him as positive as that to get the first goal.

"He just gives us so much confidence.

“I am sure Jurgen, when Van Dijk is there, never thinks about the back four because he does it for them.

“You just have to hope your best players don’t get injured. Whatever level it is.”

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