England Under 21 Lloyd Kelly has recently secured a huge £13.5 million move out of top half Championship side Bristol City, who having finished 8th in the Championship in the 2018/19 season had a squad that at the start of the season was touted as a mid-table team. However thanks to the help from the U21 captain Kelly they conceded the fifth least goals in the league and kept a total of 13 clean sheets in all competitions.
Eddie Howe has described the youngster as “athletic, versatile, physically excellent with a very bright future ahead of him” and here’s what Kelly has said about his move to the Cherries:
“Premier League football is what I’ve always wanted to achieve. I want to play as many games as possible and I feel like this is the right place for me to try and do that.”
Kelly joined Bristol at the age of just 12, but it wasn’t until August 2017 that he made his debut for Bristol in a 5-0 victory against Plymouth Argyle in the EFL Cup. His first league start however wasn’t until later that year on 23rd December when he made his league debut and he didn’t look back from there winning Bristol’s 2017/18 Young Player of the Year.
Over the course of the 2018/19 season Kelly managed to cement his spot in the team, making 32 appearances in the Championship, keeping 7 clean sheets and even scoring 1 goal.
Internationally, Lloyd Kelly has made just 12 appearances across the U20 – U21’s England youth teams, however he is yet to be called up to the senior team. With a move to the Premier League this summer, he could be one for Southgate to watch for the future.
Fantasy Football Potential
The defensive minded workhorse was versatile for Bristol city playing the majority of games at left back and showed promise for them at centre back. His style of play is very defensively and aerially sound, similar to now teammate Tyrone Mings. Mings having bridged the gap between wingback and centre back similarly to how Kelly may look to in the future and the two could draw many a comparison in the upcoming season. Kelly is seen as lacking passing and crossing skills currently but these are things that over summer will be a huge focus for his advancement so his defensive ability will be key for his reputation at his new club.
However with both of Bournemouth’s current recognised left backs injured (Diego Rico and Charlie Daniels) it could be a situation ideal for Kelly to slot into a starting premier league roll for the already young Bournemouth. The young Bournemouth side under the guardianship of the young manager Eddie Howe are not a team currently known for their defensive prowess, more so known for their attacking flair with players such as Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser who both had impressive seasons in 2018/2019. Bournemouth having kept 10 clean sheets out of their 38 premier league games last season is a number that they will be hoping Kelly can help them improve upon this. However in the other 28 games they conceded 70 goals an average of 2 and a half goals per game and this is a statistic that will be worrying for Bournemouth and possibly a reason that Kelly was such a prominent transfer target for the Cherries. The question mark around Kelly is if he is ready to be a regular starter in a premier league team due to the obvious jump in quality between the Championship and the Premier League.
Investigating Kelly’s Premier League Fantasy potential the future looks slightly bleak, as a starter for Bristol City last season he appeared in 32 games in the league and cup competitions while netting only once and not registering a single assist throughout the season. Although as a player who will have a low asking price and could be a regular first team player for the Cherries in the 2019/20 season he could be a low risk and cheap bench option for your Fantasy team this upcoming year. If Kelly was in theory to play 60 minutes every premier league game for Bournemouth next season and they were to have the same defensive record as this season then he could bring in a haul of as many as 136 points as a low price defender. If you decide to purchase Kelly then he should be likely be selected in your fantasy team as a sub and therefore low risk bench player.
Written by Matt Pemberton