Newcastle United have confirmed a major injury setback to one of their players ahead of their Premier League clash against Sheffield United with Ryan Fraser now confirmed to miss the remainder of the season and him now being a doubt to be fully fit for the European Championships.
The Scotland international of course arrived from Bournemouth last summer, but has endured an injury-hit campaign that has seen him play just 18 times in the Premier League for his new side.
The winger has been out of action for Newcastle since the end of March when he last played for Scotland in a 4-0 win over the Faroe Islands, and after confirming his absence for the game against the Blades, also responded to reports Fraser will still be named in the Tartan Army’s squad for the EUROs this summer.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game against the Blades tonight, the Magpies boss said: “As for Ryan, it has been a difficult time for him. He does desperately need a pre-season. Pre-season will be huge for him.
“Whether he is going to be picked in the Scotland squad, I think that would be a gamble as he has not played the last six or seven weeks. He has had no real football football or trained (in that time). Pre-season will be key for him. He didn’t have a pre-season the year before and last season’s was a non-entity really.”
With no goals whatsoever in the Premier League, Fraser hasn’t really been able to show Newcastle why they signed him last summer, and why he was such hot property after the 2018/2019 campaign in particular for Bournemouth – he bagged seven goals and provided a whopping 14 assists in the top-flight alone as he and now Magpies striker Callum Wilson struck up a superb partnership.
The hope will be that Fraser is able to recover from his injury and use the summer to get back to full fitness ahead of the new campaign, but his involvement for Scotland, when he hasn’t been able to play a single minute since March, is certainly eye-brow raising, especially for Bruce and Newcastle.
It’s the age-old club vs country debate, and it appears that Bruce will be losing this battle for now.
The Magpies boss will also be just as gutted that Fraser won’t get to return before the end of the season for the Magpies and at least show fans inside the ground a taster of what he can actually bring to the table when fully fit.
Meanwhile, Steve Bruce is eyeing this 6 foot 5 titan…