Tyrese Francois is a name Australian football fans may not be too familiar with, but they will be.
Hailing from Campbelltown, Francois made the move from Australia to England in 2013 and signed a youth contract with Fulham. He spent six years in the youth system before being promoted to the first team in 2019.
He made his first team debut off the bench in a 0-1 loss to Southampton in the EFL cup in August of 2019, and had to wait almost two years for another appearance for the first team, mainly due to a wretched run with injuries.
The central midfielder made his Premier League debut in May in the final game of the season, coming off the bench against Newcastle. He played 14 minutes, recording a passing accuracy of 92 per cent.
Fulham was then subsequently relegated into the Championship and Marco Silva was employed as its new manager.
Francois was hopeful he would be able to represent Australia at the Olympics, having previously captained the U-23 side, however was unfortunately overlooked by coach Graham Arnold.
However, not being picked for the Olyroos enabled the 21-year-old to fully focus on pre-season and impress the new coaches, which he has done well.
Marco Silva was seriously impressed with the ‘improving’ Francois and handed him a start in both pre-season matches against Southampton and Charlton Athletic.
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He played 80 minutes in both matches as well as recording a delightful assist to Fabio Carvalho against Charlton in a 1-0 win that cemented his spot in the starting XI for the first match of the season.
“I’ve played with Fabio for the last two or three seasons now so I know he was going to make that run, and the run forced me to play that ball so it was a nice goal,” Francois told Fulham TV.
“This season should be enjoyable for everyone under Marco, and hopefully we can achieve our end goal which is to get promoted.
“I just want to get as many games under my belt as possible & be injury-free so I can play loads of Football consistently.”
Francois was rewarded for his pre-season performances with his first ever league start on the weekend against Middlesbrough, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
Tyrese played 83 minutes and had a solid pass accuracy of 86.5 per cent whilst playing more of a defensive midfield role.
The young talent will have to stay on top of his game if he is to keep his spot in midfield, with best XI midfielders Harrison Reed and Tom Cairney close to returning from injury.
However, star midfielder Frank Zambo Anguissa is expected to leave the club in the coming weeks which gives Tyrese Francois a huge opportunity to make that spot his own whilst other squad members recover from injury.
Watch the Aussie in action this weekend as his team takes on Huddersfield Town at 12am Sunday morning AEST.
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