Leicester City continue their march towards the promised lands, and when they get there, they are going to need reinforcements. One option is Tom Fellows.
The West Bromwich Albion academy graduate is the subject of scrutiny from Southampton and the Foxes despite low attacking returns. As such, it is key to try and discover what the two clubs see in the player when the stats would show you a player who is not creative, defensive, or a goal-scoring threat.
3 Things Leicester City need to know
As is my usual style, I like to focus on the position, style, and value that a player has and judge the possible move on the basis of those three elements. It is worth noting that due to having only played a League Two extensively and a few matches in the EFL Championship, the usual stylistic rankings do not yet apply, so we must go by the eye test to uncover information.
Fellows is an English right-sided midfielder or winger. Observing his heatmap from the 22/23 Crawley Town campaign, although his position sometimes drifted inwards or to the left wing, the majority of the young forwards movement is on the right-flank of the attacking third. Interestingly, this would mean he competes with Yunus Akgun (if he is retained), Kasey McAteer, Marc Albrighton, and Abdul Fatawu (once again if retained, although I expect him to be).
Stylistically, I will quote Crawley Town’s former interim boss Darren Byfield’s comments when asked about the player’s season with them. As a TLDR, Fellows is extremely promising.
"“As a young boy, he missed chances and when you miss chances the goal starts to look… like a matchbox… his game [is] unbelievable. He is a get-off-your-seat kind of guy. When he gets the ball… He dribbles and drives, with a great attitude to develop, a great attitude to work”"
The right-winger is a progressive player: he receives the ball from midfield or defence and proceeds to drive it forward with speedy carries. Explosive although not technical in the pass yet. That is something which can be developed upon, but in the meantime he would offer pace and work rate.
Value-wise, the player is in the final year of his contract at the Hawthornes, and will likely be seeking a move away with upper Championship clubs looking for his signature. Therefore, despite being a highly promising youth player, Leicester could get the player on a free in the summer.
For me, the Foxes could see Fellows as the natural Albrighton replacement. As the legend looks to move on with little game time here at the King Power, Leicester can bring in young talent to bolster their attacking options. Enzo Maresca’s system would benefit from more choices, not less.
This does not mean I think a move for the player would necessarily be the right choice. After all, Fatawu is already here, is young, and is better, and McAteer has already started to prove himself at a Championship level to be a goal-scoring and creative threat, whereas Fellows lacks the stats to backup the ‘unbelievable’ game the winger is raved to have.
As a free transfer you can barely go wrong, but then again you can also use up space on a player you could otherwise have signed another high quality fullback to eventually replace Ricardo Pereira, or another midfielder to compete with Harry Winks and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. Therefore, with no stats to back up his game, only League Two experience, and other positions in the squad in more need of bolstering, despite being a possible free in the summer, this deal does not seem astute or to fit with Leicester City’s current progression.