The most impressive thing about Eddie Howe’s time as Newcastle United manager is the way in which he’s changed the mood at the club.
While expensive new signings are all well and good, it is Howe’s work in yielding vast improvements out of the players he inherited from a certain Steve Bruce that offers the most tangible measurement of change at St James’ Park.
Whether it’s Joelinton’s rebirth as a central midfielder, Sean Longstaff’s rapid-fire improvement or Fabian Schar’s decision to sign a new contract after previously looking like leaving, Howe has had a major impact on Newcastle’s existing players.
Still, it seems not everyone is happy…
Ryan Fraser has no future at Newcastle
Indeed, Ryan Fraser’s future as a Magpie looks bleak.
While the Scotland international featured heavily in Howe’s early teams following his appointment in November 2021, the 29-year-old has started only three Premier League games this season.
Recently, the Daily Mail claimed the former Bournemouth winger – who infamously left the Cherries before their relegation under Howe – had been moved to train with the club’s U21 team.
Fraser is reportedly pushing for more game time and the club themselves are said to see his future elsewhere.
Speaking before Saturday’s meeting with Manchester City, Howe said (via Chris Waugh): “Ryan is training with the under-21s. I made the decision to concentrate on the players that are focused on Newcastle for the benefit of the group.”
Asked if the Scotsman has a future, Howe replied: “I’d say at the moment he doesn’t.”
Craig Hope of the Mail, meanwhile, added Howe said he wanted only players “committed” to the cause.
Selling Fraser might be difficult
Still, wanting players out is one thing and actually getting them off the wage bill is another.
Newcastle did not receive any money for Ciaran Clark, Federico Fernandez or Dwight Gayle last summer, while Isaac Hayden had to join Norwich on loan with an option to buy.
With two years left on his contract and having barely played all season, Fraser is unlikely to command much of a fee this summer.
Getting rid may be difficult.