Newcastle United swooping for Cardiff City sensation Kieron Evans this summer could spell bad news for Ryan Fraser amid criticism of the winger’s attitude.
According to Wales Online, the Toon are one of a number of Premier League clubs keeping a close eye on Evans’ breakthrough at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The Wales U19 international was named in a senior squad for the first time as the Bluebirds lost in the EFL Cup to Northampton Town last September, and has gone on to feature as an unused substitute on a further three occasions in all competitions since mid-December.
Cardiff chiefs rate Evans’ potential very highly and those in the first-team fold have no desire to see the exciting prospect leave his boyhood club, while it is thought that the 19-year-old is the next in line to seal a professional contract.
The Championship outfit have moved to lock down their promising products with new deals, and have been impressed by Evans’ performances in Steve Morison’s U23s while playing a key role in a number of attacking positions behind the striker.
But Evans has top-flight scouts on alert and sent interest into overdrive after a goal and an assist against Millwall plus a goal against Bristol City’s junior sides last week, with Newcastle, West Bromwich Albion, Burnley and Sheffield United all said to be keen.
Evans is described by Wales Online as an ‘absolute live-wire’ and an ‘electric’ player, capable of delivering excellent crosses and with the ability to play with his head up looking for teammates.
His preferred position is on the left-wing, and ended the 2019/20 campaign as the top-scorer in the Bluebirds’ U18s before emerging as one of the standout players for former head coach Neil Harris in pre-season last summer.
Evans is still a very much unproven product, but his record in Cardiff’s academy does paint the picture of a teen sensation – and one claimed to be comfortable using both feet, to match his eye for goal and for an assist.
But a career on the left-wing would be hard for the youngster to achieve at St. James’ Park all the while Allan Saint-Maximin plays in black and white, so Newcastle would have to convince the diminutive 5 ft 6 playmaker of a switch to the right.
There, he could leave Fraser with concerns over his long-term Toon hopes, as the former AFC Bournemouth maestro is leaving a lot to the imagination with his performances since moving to Tyneside on a free transfer last summer.
The £42,000-per-week Scotland international has just two assists in 14 Premier League appearances with the Magpies to date, and has left Chronicle Live’s chief Newcastle writer Lee Ryder questioning if he even wants to be at St. James’ Park.
“Fraser, for me, doesn’t look like he wants to be here. You’re asking me an honest question and I’m giving you my opinion from what I am seeing – he doesn’t look like he wants to be here,” Ryder said (23/2, 07:35).
“It looks to me like he feels he’s a made a mistake coming to Newcastle. We are not seeing the Ryan Fraser which we saw at Bournemouth, and we know with him it could be a situation where if he’s not happy, he’s not performing and that is what it looks like at the minute.”
If the 27-year-old continues to look uncomfortable on Tyneside over the coming months and Evans takes his impressive talents into the Cardiff first-team fold, there’s little reason for Newcastle to not look into a deal.
AND in other news, Newcastle are exploring a deal to sign a £31.5m-rated star for free this summer…