The Championship is full of outstanding young talents, and their have been few better than Bristol City’s young left-back Lloyd Kelly this season.
The 20-year-old has been a revelation for the Robins this season, and has been tipped in some circles as a future England international.
He has already been touted to play at centre-back by his manager Lee Johnson, who has played a huge role in his progression and path to superstardom in the Championship. The question is this – where does his future lie? Most of the Premier League giants have been linked with a move for him, so here’s how likely a switch to some of these suitors might be..
Probably the least likely, but Kelly could be seen as a replacement for the outgoing Christian Fuchs, 33, who will depart the King Power Stadium when his contract expires this summer.
Brendan Rodgers is most likely going to be in the market for a back-up left-back, and the fact Kelly fits the type of player the 46-year-old likes to work with could be huge factor in swaying him to Leicester.
His versatility will no doubt suit Rodgers, especially with Leicester on the search for a long-term replacement for club captain Wes Morgan. The 35-year-old was recently handed a new one year contract to remain with the Foxes, but Rodgers may be already on the look out for somebody to fill Morgan’s boots.
It’s highly unlikely Kelly would want to be amongst the substitutes week in week out and feature mainly in the cup competitions. But if Leicester sell Ben Chilwell, who knows. Kieran Tierney, who is believed to be high on the Foxes wish list having worked under Rodgers at Celtic could be drafted in though.
Likelihood rating: 5/10
Following defeat to FC Barcelona in the Champions League, Ole Gunnar Solskjær revealed he will look to revamp his squad this summer. United have been linked with a number of young players such as Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Declan Rice, and Kelly could also be somebody who fits the profile.
Ashley Young is a player who is past his best at United and Kelly would be the perfect option. Young has taken on board a great deal of criticism this season, and his performance in the Champions League last night did little to get the United crowd off his back.
Would Kelly be interested in a move to Old Trafford? Definitely, but he would want clarity that he would get regular game time. With Luke Shaw the first-choice left-back, he would certainly have competition on his hands should he want a regular staring birth in Solskjær’s XI.
Likelihood rating: 6/10
Mauricio Pochettino is keen on defensive reinforcements as he looks to bolster his side at the back, having conceded 34 goals so far in the Premier League this season. The fact the England Under-21 international is versatile is again a factor, with Jan Vertonghen now 31 and Toby Alderweireld’s future still unclear.
Kelly could be the ideal long-term replacement for Danny Rose, 28, and would be seen as an upgrade to Ben Davies, who has featured 22 times for Spurs in the Premier League thus far this season. A regular in the Championship, having made 25 appearances, Kelly averages three aerial duels per game and loos to have what it takes to make the step up to Premier League level.
Likelihood rating: 7/10
Arsenal are in the hunt for a new left-back as they search for a replacement for the ageing Nacho Monreal. The 32-year-old is out of contract with the Gunners in seven months and has not agreed a new deal despite holding talks with the club.
Genk ace Jere Uronen has been eyed, as has Nicolás Tagliafico and Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo, but Kelly would be seen as the cheaper option, as well as home-grown. Sead Kolasinac has failed to impress in the full-back role since his free transfer from Schalke in June 2017, instead impressing when he has operated further up the field.
Kelly would be open to a move to the Emirates, and if guaranteed regular playing time, he would fit the bill and could go on to be an Arsenal great in years to come.
Likelihood rating: 8/10
With Alberto Moreno’s contract up, Liverpool are on the hunt for a backup full-back to provide serious competition for Andrew Robertson. Moreno has failed to live up to expectations at Anfield and he could be heading back to former club Sevilla or join Lazio this summer, with Jurgen Klopp’s side previously linked with moving for Kelly to replace him.
The Reds have Adam Lewis and Tony Gallagher in their youth ranks, with both said to be ready for a step-up to the first team. But manager Jurgen Klopp may look to make a move for Kelly as his versatility would see him as a long-term successor to Croatian defender Dejan Lovren.
This seems the most likely option for Kelly, who has previously been described as a ‘Rolls Royce of a player’. The 20-year-old would benefit from learning from Andrew Robertson, would play in an attacking setup and would also benefit Liverpool by adding to their home-grown player quota.
Likelihood rating: 9/10