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Disastrous Newcastle United signings – NUFC still paying for them now

1 month ago
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This pair were disastrous Newcastle United signings.

Disastrous signings that NUFC are still paying for years later.

The ironic thing is at the time, we were told they were great coups for the club.

These two Newcastle United signings arrived within days of each other in the summer of 2020.

Mike Ashley proving yet again that he knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

Two ‘free transfers’ that as I say, Newcastle United are still paying for now.

Jeff Hendrick ended up out of contract at Burnley and as he was a ‘free’ agent, was signed on a four year deal of hefty wages (by summer 2020 standards).

Ryan Fraser cynically ran his contract down at Bournemouth and joined Newcastle United on even bigger wages, a massive five year deal.

These are the kind of Newcastle United signings that are the real expensive disasters.

Making players some of your biggest wage earners on long contracts, players who either don’t have the ability, don’t have the character, or a bit of both.

Hendrick was just nowhere near the level needed and currently can’t get into the first eleven at Championship club Sheffield Wednesday, the last league game he started was three months ago and has only made five Championship starts in total. Newcastle United are no doubt still paying most of his wages and the only positive is that after four long years and only 17 Premier League starts for Newcastle, his contract (and wages) will end this summer.

Ryan Fraser is far far worse.

A player who did have some ability (though clearly nowhere near as much as he thinks he has) but a woeful character.

I never wanted him when Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley signed him in summer 2020, after what he had done to Bournemouth, why would you want this rotten apple in your club?

After going up through all the divisions under the expert guidance of Eddie Howe, the Cherries had done so well to stay in the Premier League for a number of seasons but with injuries hitting badly, they were fighting relegation in the 2019/20 season.

Ryan Fraser had cynically ran his contract down and that was the final year of it, before leaving to massively maximise his wages and deprive Bournemouth of any transfer fee.

Bournemouth fans also appeared to universally believe the winger had stopped trying, scoring seven Premier League goals the previous season, only one in that 2019/20 season.

That was the season when Covid struck, the season stopping in early March 2020 and restarting in late June 2020 to finish the season. Pretty much every single Premier League player who was due to be out of contract in June 2020 was asked to sign a short-term contract to help their club out, to finish their season.

Pretty much they all did, signing those short-term deals to see the season out before belatedly moving on. Who wouldn’t you? Especially when you consider the state of the country then, a population really up against it, football fans looking for a bit of a positive distraction.

Ryan Fraser of course refused to sign a short-term contract, refused to do the right thing, the mercenary sat watching on as Bournemouth ended up relegated on the final day of the season.

Then he signed that fat massive five year contract at Newcastle United, walking away from a relegated Bournemouth without a care in the world.

Eddie Howe Ryan Fraser

Who could have predicted that four years after signing him, Ryan Fraser has started only 30 Premier League games… paid a fortune, scoring two goals in return for the millions he has pocketed.

When later asked to justify what he had done to Bournemouth, Ryan Fraser was unrepentant…

“I made the decision not to play and got battered for it… everyone has their own opinions, but at the end of the day, I need to look after myself. My contract was done… so it’s not like I refused to play any games.”

Honestly, I hate people with this kind of attitude, especially footballers who then end up playing for your club and pocketing millions each season.

Hard work and dedication, commitment, good character, epitomise this Newcastle United under Eddie Howe, even superstars such as Isak and Bruno totally buy into that.

No surprise though that Ryan Fraser is the only player who Eddie Howe has had a problem with. Banishing him to train with the kids in Autumn 2022.

We never got to know exactly what happened and Fraser clearly reluctant to make public exactly what he did…

Ryan Fraser talking about Eddie Howe to official Southampton media and how he hopes to make his loan move permanent:

“We have helped each other… [though] obviously it is a little bit awkward now, after what happened.

“We are probably not on the best of terms.

“But I don’t regret anything we have done together.

“He was unbelievable with me.

“I did well for him.

“I learned as a player from him.

“It is sad how it ended but, at the same time, it has ended now and I will always cherish the years that we had.

“The minute Russell Martin (Southampton manager) phoned me, I pushed like everything to get down here.

“It was all about playing football and getting promoted again because I knew what it was like to get promoted from [when I was with] Bournemouth.

“It was an unbelievable feeling.

“I know the club really well from being down here and I know a lot of the lads at Southampton… they said it was unbelievable, so I tried to push it as much as I possibly could and finally got it over the line.

“Here is to the future of us getting promoted first and foremost and, then, even if we don’t, I want to stay for as long as possible – whatever happens at the end of the season.”

Ryan Fraser is only 29 and should be in his prime, yet he can’t even get a start in the Championship. The way he talks, you would think he was one of their best players as they push for promotion.

The reality is he has only been trusted to start five Championship matches for Southampton this season from 27 played, the Saints have only lost four of those 27 and Fraser started three of them. A draw and just the one win in his five starts.

He has been used as a late impact sub and scored five goals, maybe not fit enough and/or lacking the stamina…?

Sadly, Fraser has another 18 months left on his Newcastle United contract and one way or another NUFC will still be paying the vast majority of those wages still due. Whether subsidising loan wages as they are doing now at Southampton, or paying him off to go away permanently.

Yes he has scored a few goals as a late sub against poor level Championship sides. However, if Southampton do get promoted (they will go second on goal difference if winning at Swansea today), does anybody honestly think they will keep Ryan Fraser and put him on a permanent deal? If he can’t get a game for them in the second tier, why would they be putting him on a fat permanent deal in the Premier League?

Eddie Howe must have been sickened when he arrived at St James’ Park and had to make the best of a bad situation, stuck with a character like Fraser who had treated him and Bournemouth so badly.

I love the fact that Ryan Fraser tries to make out like what happened at Newcastle United has just been one of those things, whatever he did to upset Eddie Howe, again!

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