Some fans were intrigued to see how Eddie Howe would do with two of his old Bournemouth players back under his wing. Both Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser were two important players during Howe’s time at the Vitality Stadium.
Wilson has been a success on Tyneside, being a consistent contributor to the Toon Army’s goals. However, Fraser has not had such an enjoyable time at St James’ Park. The Scotland international signed in the summer of 2020 as a free agent and has not had much to shout about.
Showing glimpses of his old self under Howe
Having said that, Howe’s first game in charge looked as if hope was not lost for Fraser. His beautifully whipped cross found Allan Saint-Maximin to bring the Magpies level at home to Brentford. It’s still been hard for him, with tough games and on and off injuries.
The last time we saw him play he was subbed off early as Ciaran Clark was red-carded, so Howe had to bring on an extra defender. Unfortunately, Fraser’s been missing since, due to a hamstring problem.
Fraser is expected to be ‘back in contention’ for trip to Leicester, according to Howe
The Newcastle boss spoke to the media about the upcoming away game against Leicester City. When asked about Fraser, he told BBC Newcastle, “We hope he’ll be fine – he just had a very slight hamstring problem. I expect him to be in contention.”
Their opponents are not in a good run of form and haven’t kept a clean sheet all season. Additionally, the Magpies will be filled with confidence after their first win of the season against Burnley last weekend.
If anyone can help Fraser rekindle his form, it’s Howe
Let’s not forget that the best season of Fraser’s career came whilst being managed by Howe. When the two were together at Bournemouth, the Scotland international scored seven and assisted 14 in the 2018/19 season. If there’s anyone that knows how to get the best out of him, it’s Eddie Howe.
At his best, Fraser can be the type of winger that full-backs struggle to handle. Undoubtedly his best quality is his ability to whip a ball. Whether it be from open play, a free kick or a corner, Fraser was a handful at the top of his game for the Cherries.
We mustn’t forget that it’s still only just over a month since Howe has come in. There’s still plenty of time for Fraser to work on his game in training and prove his best days aren’t behind him.
Fraser will have a challenge with Joelinton, Wilson and Saint-Maxmin seeming to be the established front three. Having said that, he can still definitely make an impact off the bench for Newcastle. More creative play like the assist for the equaliser against Brentford and Fraser could prove to be an important asset on Tyneside.