Express & Star

Gary O'Neil has backed Nathan Fraser to have impact at Wolves

Gary O'Neil has backed young striker Nathan Fraser to 'have an impact' for Wolves this season.


The club failed to add another forward to the squad on transfer deadline day after making approaches for Che Adams and Boulaye Dia, before deciding to promote academy star Fraser to fourth choice striker.

Just days before the 18-year-old scored on his senior debut after stepping off the bench against Blackpool in the Carabao Cup, and he continues to impress for the under-21s after scoring against Notts County in the EFL Trophy.

Fraser is yet to make his Premier League bow, but O'Neil has backed the forward to make an impact in the top flight this season.

He said: "We've had him training with us more than he has done previously. We've had him around our group a lot, because I wanted to get eyes on him and see whether I felt he could help the group.

"Of course, during the transfer window we were trying to add to that attacking area and how we could add goals, but we knew Nathan was a potential option as well.

"I wanted to get a really good look at him in those days before the window shut.

"There was a lot of interest from sides looking to take him on loan but I felt it was important, especially as we didn't add a number nine, to keep Nathan around and have him around the first team group.

"He's trained really well and I'm sure he'll have an impact, whether that's from the start or the bench, this season."

Wolves' under-21s coach James Collins was full of praise for Fraser after that Notts County win, describing him as a 'dream' to work with.

The striker has been credited for an exemplary attitude and work ethic – something O'Neil believes will serve him well.

The head coach added: "The Premier League is at an extremely high level now, so playing for Wolves under-21s and playing for Wolves' first team, there's a big gap between those.

"There's a lot of work that needs to be done but he's 100 per cent the right type. He asks a lot of questions, wants to know how he can improve, wants to work.

"He also has natural ability and physicality that can cause problems for the defence.

"Of course he's still very, very young so it's important not to put too much expectation on him and the impact that he may be able to have, but I definitely believe he can have one."