The curious case of Ryan Fraser – where do Newcastle United go from here?
Last summer, Newcastle United signed Ryan Fraser on a free transfer.
Just a few months before this, he was seriously linked with Liverpool but for whatever reason, the move never materialised.
Even by taking Liverpool out of the equation, it’s fair to say that most Premier League clubs outside of the top six would have been pleased with the signing.
However, it’s also fair to say that Ryan Fraser has not had a great start to life at Newcastle.
Since joining, he’s made 18 league appearances, with only nine of those in the starting eleven.
For a creative player, he’s scored zero Premier League goals with three assists and whilst he isn’t the worst player to ever grace St James Park, it’s fair to say that he hasn’t made a great impact either.
This isn’t a hit piece either; whilst speaking on the Chronicle’s Everything is black and white podcast, John Gibson also noted his poor start, saying: “The one who has really disappointed me is Ryan Fraser because he has got the potential. Ryan Fraser has the ability – you can see it, you can see the potential but you look at him for Newcastle and he’s started nine games, hasn’t scored and his body language has been atrocious.”
Obviously, this is just an opinion – but as shown, the numbers don’t lie.
So, where do Newcastle United go from here?
Throwing more numbers into the equation, Ryan Fraser was signed on a five year deal and has four years still remaining. Whilst when it comes to wages, various media report his package (after arriving as a free agent) as anything from £40,000 to £60,000 per week. This sounds about right, given his ability and the state of modern wages.
With this said, could Newcastle try to cash in on Ryan Fraser in the summer? This probably won’t happen, but if Mike Ashley could make a fast buck with the right buyer, then it’s certainly possible.
The good news for the Magpies is that he’s still 27 years old which is a good age. He’s also proven with Bournemouth that he can be a very effective and dangerous player with a keen eye for goals and assists.
You could even go as far to say that he’s also acclimatising to a new environment. It should be noted that he took a while to get going at Bournemouth, which initially was in League One and then the Championship.
So, the future of Ryan Fraser hangs in the balance.
The most likely scenario would see him grow at Newcastle and be used by Bruce with more confidence, being allowed to attack a bit more. Perhaps with a good pre-season under his belt, he could flourish and turn into a regular.
At the same time, it certainly feels like a crossroads – as so many times at Newcastle, we’ve seen loads of players come and go, barely make an impact and make a small fortune.
That’s no dig at Ryan Fraser either, as that’s the way of the modern game. However, one thing’s for sure, time will tell…
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