Scotland Under-21s will have a player in their ranks being dubbed “the new Big Dunc” when they head to the Toulon tournament next month. Everton forward Fraser Hornby has been given the sobriquet by the Liverpool Echo after bustling frontline displays in the club’s under-age teams by the wiry 18-year-old, previously considered an attacking midfielder.
The graduation of Hornby to the under-21s comes after he made his senior debut for the Goodison Park club in a 3-0 win away to Apollon Limassol in the Europa League in December, and then featured for Scotland under-19s in their elite round elimination in March, despite a win over the Netherlands.
Scot Gemmill, who played with Duncan Ferguson, above right, at Goodison, believes there is more to Northampton-born Hornby than harrying and putting his growing frame about to deliver knock-downs.
“I think Fraser would be keen to stress he is not just a battering ram, that he is not just about heading the ball – even though he’s very good at it,” the under-21 manager said. “In defence of Fraser he is a very good technical player with more to offer than solely that and will be very keen to show that. At the same time he does realise the importance of that and how effective he can be. It is a balance.
“It is interesting that there has been a big development with Fraser since the club have changed his position. In my eyes Fraser was pivotal in his age group reaching the finals in Azerbaijan.
“He was one of the players who really ensured that team got there so I was as surprised as anybody when his club started to play him in a different position. But there have been examples where that has happened to players. His performances since have shown Everton to be correct.”
Gemmill believes that Hornby will be given more senior exposure by Everton in the coming year, with the club having a good reputation for blooding youngsters. “I do, yeah,” he said. “The manager has included him so he is obviously very close. Hopefully we can help do that by him coming to Toulon and playing in the games there.”