Fraser the epitome of Newcastle's revival

Last updated : 08 March 2022 By C. Morris

Winger has come in from the cold to help turn Toon around

When Eddie Howe became manager of Newcastle United last November few would have predicted the turnaround in results, even taking into account the injection of cash in January. Fewer still would have seen Ryan Fraser playing a pivotal role in the revival.

Ryan Fraser joined Newcastle United on a free transfer ahead of the 2020-21 season. The winger left  Bournemouth having previously taken the decision not to extend his contract and play on to complete the 2019-20 season at the south coast club following the delay to the Premier League season as a result of the Covid pandemic. Bournemouth suffered relegation by a narrow margin at the end of that season, under Eddie Howe.

After a decent start, the Scottish international endured a fairly difficult first season at St James’ Park, perhaps summed up best by a first-half red card away to Sheffield United, which resulted in Newcastle becoming the first team to lose to the Blades in the league last season – 18 games into the campaign. Fraser was pretty much left out in the cold by Steve Bruce in the first half of this season, rarely featuring under the Magpies manager who had signed him only a year ago.

When Howe was chosen to replace Bruce there were stories that his departure from Bournemouth, where Howe had previously signed and managed him for many years, had left a sour taste in the mouth of the new boss.

As it turns out rumours of a rift have been firmly laid to rest. Fraser has been integrated back into the first team with increasingly regularity and he has played a significant role in the improved results and performances. During the current run of 8 Premier League games without defeat, Fraser has started all of them, culminating in a man-of-the-match display as Newcastle beat Brighton on Saturday to move further away from the relegation zone.