When Newcastle United sealed the signing of Ryan Fraser on a free transfer from Bournemouth in the summer of 2020, it was no surprise to see then-manager Steve Bruce speak lyrically about his latest acquisition.
After watching him put pen to paper on a five-year deal at St James’ Park, Bruce said: “I am delighted to bring Ryan to Newcastle United. We have endured a lot of competition to get him signed and that says a lot about what this club has to offer.
“His skill and contributions on the pitch speak for themselves and I am looking forward to seeing him work in a Newcastle shirt. He has wonderful chemistry on the pitch with Callum Wilson, which excites me, and I hope he excites our fans ahead of the new season.”
Apart from the fact that it cost Mike Ashley absolutely nothing in terms of a transfer fee to sign him, Fraser came with the experience of shining in the Premier League and also struck up a great relationship with the other Magpies newcomer at that time. moment, Callum Wilson.
In his truly standout campaign for Bournemouth in 2018/19, Fraser racked up seven goals and a whopping 14 assists, showing he can perform at Premier League level when fit.
His former Bournemouth team-mate Eunan O’Kane said: “Ryan has the world at his feet. It’s taken him a while to settle down, but he’s learned a lot in the six months he’s been here. For me it is a dream. I just give him the ball and stand behind him and let him do what he does. It is an outlet and he can run with the ball and it gives us a different option”.
Meanwhile, former Celtic ace Charlie Nicholas added: “What I like is that it’s a little pocket dynamo. He is quite an old-fashioned type of player, what we used to call a ba’ tanner, from the days when Scottish players were very popular. He has a bit of that.”
However, injuries have plagued his time at St James’ Park, restricting him to just 49 appearances in all competitions, while Wilson’s own physical difficulties have also meant the duo have been unable to rekindle their burgeoning partnership with Cherries.
But this season has undoubtedly seen a leap in Fraser’s improvement, especially after the arrival of new manager Eddie Howe.
Given that the two also worked together at Bournemouth, it was no surprise to see the Scotland international start to show signs of why Newcastle were so excited to beat the competition to sign him.
While five goal contributions in 25 Premier League games may not sound like much, his displays during the Magpies’ recent good form have set the standard for what he hopes to achieve over the course of a full campaign.
After earning an assist in a 2-o win at Brentford, Fraser followed up with a true winning display against Brighton in the next half, scoring one and making one in a 2-1 victory.
Now valued at £9m by Transfermarkt, the £35k-a-week ace will hope that next season he can finally make his real, consistent mark on this team.
And in other news: Sold for just £100k, now winner of two titles – NUFC flop has garnered a huge bounty