Eddie Howe will be going in search of Newcastle’s first win of the Premier League season as the Magpies take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
The Tynesiders are the only team in the division who are yet to win their first match, as they sit bottom of the table on six points.
One change that Howe could make in an attempt to secure the first victory of the campaign is to start Ryan Fraser out wide.
The Scotland international worked with the 43-year-old at Bournemouth and enjoyed his best season at the top level at the Vitality Stadium. In the 2018/19 campaign, he managed a whopping seven goals and 15 assists in the Premier League for the Cherries.
This shows that Howe knows how to get the best out of him, and their reconnection could lead to him finding his form for Newcastle. His statistics for the Cherries show that he has the quality to be a game-changer in the top flight, and that is what the Magpies need at the moment.
Former Celtic forward Charlie Nicholas once said of Fraser: “What I like is that he is a little pocket dynamo. He is quite an old-fashioned type of player – what we used to call a tanner ba’ – from the days when Scottish players were very popular. He has a little bit of that.
“What he does understand is when he gets the ball and is allowed to run at people and be expressive. That is when he is at his finest. It is nice to see a Scot with this kind of creative, natural talent that we don’t obviously have enough of at international level.”
Nicholas’ comments on Fraser’s creativity align with his stats for Bournemouth, with 15 assists in a single season, and illustrate the kind of player that Howe could be bringing into the side.
The £9m-rated 27-year-old could be the game-changer for Newcastle who is able to help them to their first league win of the campaign. He showed flashes of what he is capable of off the bench against Brentford last weekend, creating two chances and completing all three of his attempted crosses in just 19 minutes on the pitch.
It is now time for Howe to unleash him from the start and hand him the opportunity to show the impact he can have in the final third. If he can start to produce goals and assists at a similar rate to the 2018/19 campaign, then he could be a hugely important player for Newcastle moving forward.