Interim Newcastle boss Graeme Jones handed Ryan Fraser a huge opportunity on Saturday.

Sadly, he wasted it.

There were a few bold calls in Jones’ first team selection. Reverting to 3-5-2 was a surprise, but the biggest shock was the inclusion of Fraser.

The Scotland international hadn’t started in the Premier League this season. In fact, he hadn’t started in the league for Newcastle since the 3-0 defeat to Brighton back in March.

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
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But he got a chance at Selhurst Park, even if it was in an uncomfortable position. When the team was announced it looked like he was going to be part of a front three alongside Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin. However, that wasn’t the case.

The 27-year-old started on the left of a central midfield three – a position he was reportedly being taught over the summer.

While it wasn’t the ideal return to the Newcastle starting XI, Fraser failed to grasp the opportunity that was given to him.


Newcastle opportunity goes begging for Ryan Fraser

Newcastle weren’t much of an attacking force at Selhurst Park. While we looked more solid defensively, we never really put the Eagles under any pressure.

Fraser barely got involved in the game, with his biggest moment coming when Joachim Andersen kicked him in the head midway through the first half.

Crystal Palace v Newcastle United - Premier League
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The 2020 signing barely got on the ball, and was unable to utilise his pace on the counterattack.

Ideally, he should have been playing out wide. That’s his natural position. It was strange last week when Steve Bruce brought him off the bench and played him centrally. It was even more shocking to see him start in a similar position this week.

He was replaced by Miguel Almiron after 66 minutes, and the Paraguayan was much more influential. He was able to run at players and put some dangerous balls into the box. It begged the question ‘why did Fraser start over Almiron?’.

Crystal Palace v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Opportunities have been few and far between for Fraser, and it’s fair to say he blew this one. It would be a huge surprise if he starts again against Chelsea.

The new Newcastle manager will have a lot of problems he needs to address when appointed, and one of those is finding a solution to Fraser’s Toon woes.

Although staying in the Premier League will probably be his first port of call…

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