Steve Bruce is arguably happier than he has ever been since being appointed as Newcastle United boss. The Magpies finished last season in 13th and have had a brilliant transfer window so far.
Two of his four high-profile signings got on the score sheet against West Ham on Saturday, while another had a solid game at left-back.
Newcastle fans are delighted with Callum Wilson, Jeff Hendrick and Jamal Lewis’s debuts but they can’t wait to see Ryan Fraser in action.
The former Bournemouth man joined the Magpies on a free transfer and is arguably their most exciting signing. Bruce confirmed that the Scotsman will start in the EFL Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers tonight, and the Newcastle boss seems certain that Fraser will be an immediate fan favourite.
He told the Chronicle: “He’s a bit of an old-fashioned type – he’s all pace and power. He’s only small but he’s electrifying with his pace and power. My big one is just holding him back because he hasn’t really trained with anyone competitively since March.
“He’s not played a lot of football but certainly the way he was in training, the way he was yesterday, he is desperate to play so he will make his debut. When he gets the ball, he’s got one thing in his mind – he wants to beat you. He’s one of them who will be a big crowd favourite. I’m sure he will.”
Fraser’s final season at Bournemouth – much like many of his teammates – was a disappointing one. The Scotsman was linked with big moves away from the Vitality Stadium last summer but they never materialised.
That arguably played a big part last season. Fraser didn’t look like his previous self and his decision to not stay until the end of the campaign made him a villain in some Cherries fans’ eyes.
Now that his chapter at Bournemouth is over, Fraser will be raring to go and prove his doubters wrong. A cup tie is a good game for Bruce to ease him in and, if he can stay fit, he will be a big player for the Magpies this season.