Jacob Whitehead of The Athletic ($) revealed on Wednesday that Newcastle are “considering signing an overage player-coach” to take charge of the U21 side of the team, according to head coach Ben Dawson.
The note published by Whitehead mentions 29-year-old Ryan Fraser as an option Newcastle is exploring as a potential candidate to appoint at the position.
Fraser has been training and playing with the U21 squad for a while after Eddie Howe blocked the veteran from attending first-time practices, let alone making gameday squads for Premier League matches.
Ryan Fraser made his debut with the U21 team in a 4-3 win over Norwich City last Monday.
Dawson is quoted saying that Fraser has been “absolutely terrific, one of the best trainers every day,” and also valuing how Fraser “maxes out physically,” as well as how the veteran forward has been “mentally great to have around the young lads in terms of seeing how he conducts himself in the building, how he looks after himself away from the building with his nutrition, with his gym work.”
The coach also revealed that Newcastle “first discussed the role back in 2015-16,” and that it’s always been “a discussion point and something we’ve had on the table.”
More interestingly for Newcastle and Fraser’s potential appointment, Dawson thinks that the forward ”wants first-team football,” but considering how he’s blocked from playing it at NUFC, there is a chance he can get the player-manager position at the U21 level.
Dawson thinks Fraser “can still affect the game on the pitch and help the lads around him,” and that might put him in a prime position to take over the managerial duties of the U21 squad.
“We’ll continue to have the discussion around it,” said Dawson. “We need to make sure that it is right for us, and we’re not blocking anybody’s development pathway, but it’s definitely one we’re considering and will keep discussing,” Dawson finished.