Newcastle United Locked In A Three-Way Battle For This Bournemouth Playmaker: Right Fit For Bruce?

Newcastle United in talks with Ryan Fraser this summer (Fraser is in action in the photo)
Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth is challenged by Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United and Mohamed Diame of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United at Vitality Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by The Sheilds Gazette, Newcastle United are locked in a three-way battle for Ryan Fraser, who became a free agent after being released by Bournemouth earlier this summer. The same source has also revealed that the Magpies will have to battle it out with Crystal Palace and West Ham United in pursuit of the Scottish playmaker in this off-season.

Fraser’s Mounting Frustrations At Bournemouth Last Season

Fraser endured a frustrating season at the Vitality Stadium after struggling to find consistency with his performances over the past 12 months. He featured in 32 matches for the Cherries last season, scoring one goal and providing four assists in all competitions which showcases his lack of end-product in the attacking third.

The Scottish playmaker has struggled to perform at a high level and had averaged 1.0 shots, 1.6 key passes, 1.0 crosses and 0.4 dribbles per game in the Premier League last season. However, he has been tidy with his ball-distribution as evident from his pass completion rate of 79.9% in league football (stats via whoscored).

The 26-year-old has represented Scotland in 11 senior matches and registered one goal for his country in the process. Maybe a summer move to St. James’ Park could give him a chance to make a fresh start and rediscover his old form in the Premier League so that he can earn a few more caps for his nation in the years to come.

Newcastle United locked in a three-way battle for Fraser who is seen in the photo
Ryan Fraser of AFC Bournemouth wears a Heads Up campaign T-shirt prior to the Premier League match between Sheffield United and AFC Bournemouth at Bramall Lane on February 09, 2020, in Sheffield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

What Will The Scotland International Add To Steve Bruce’s Team?

Fraser can use his quickness to make a few darting runs with the ball out on the wide areas. He is highly versatile and can feature on either flank which could make him a valuable squad player for any top-flight side. The ex-Bournemouth winger has a good football IQ which he can use to cook up some promising goal-scoring chances in the final third. The Scottish playmaker can also contribute by netting his fair share of goals from midfield but only when he is playing with confidence on the field.

Is Fraser The Right Fit For The Magpies?

Fraser has all the skillset required to be a useful asset in the Newcastle squad. His incredible versatility, coupled with electric pace, make him an appealing summer target for any of his potential suitors including the Magpies ahead of the new season. Furthermore, he will be available for free and would add some healthy competition for the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron, Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu at Tyneside in the coming seasons.

However, signing someone as unsettled as Fraser could turn out to be a risky move for Steve Bruce even if it is on a free transfer as he could end up hampering the chemistry of his squad at St. James’ Park. At 26, the Scottish playmaker needs more first-team starts which Bruce could guarantee at Tyneside next season. Thus, Fraser will be a decent fit for the Magpies before the beginning of the new campaign.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.