You’d be excused for forgetting that Ryan Fraser actually played against Manchester United.

The 26-year-old was a second half substitute, replacing Joelinton in the 55th minute.

Fraser was a direct replacement for the Brazilian, operating as the right-sided striker.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

More than 24 hours after the defeat and all I can remember from Fraser was one tepid shot straight at David De Gea.

The Scotland international was ineffective down the right, and a move to the left failed to bring any joy either.

Our new diamond formation has been positive, but it clearly doesn’t suit the summer signing. And with Callum Wilson injured, we need to find a way of accommodating Fraser.

We can’t afford to keep Ryan Fraser on the bench

Earlier in the season, Steve Bruce bemoaned the fact he had been unable to play Allan Saint-Maximin and Fraser in the same team.

Since then, the pair haven’t started together despite being fit.


Newcastle’s first couple of games with the diamond saw Fraser play up top with Wilson, but Saint-Maximin has since taken his place.

Now Wilson is out injured, meaning our goal-threat is pretty much non-existent.

With his best forward out, Bruce needs to find a way of getting Saint-Maximin and Fraser playing together.

Chelsea v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Newcastle United/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

I did call for them to be paired up front, but after the Manchester United defeat, that clearly doesn’t work.

While our new system has allowed us to press higher up the pitch, we’ve struggled in wide areas – particularly defensively.

Therefore, Bruce must shift from a diamond to 4-2-3-1. That way he can get Saint-Maximin on one wing and Fraser on the other, whilst allowing Miguel Almiron to continue in a more central role.

With Wilson out injured, we can’t afford to be leaving one of our best attackers on the bench just because the system doesn’t suit him.

Bruce must find a way of getting Saint-Maximin, Almiron and Fraser in the same team, and using a 4-2-3-1 seems like the best option.

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