By Noel Whelan

18th Jun, 2021 | 7:31pm

Ex-striker backs Fraser for 'huge' second season at Newcastle after summer boost

Noel Whelan insists being away with Scotland will do Ryan Fraser the world of good ahead of his second season with Newcastle United.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admits the Scotland international faces a problem when he returns to St James’ Park.

Fraser, 27, joined Newcastle on a free transfer last summer but only made 18 Premier League appearances in the 2020/21 season.

He managed to pick up three assists and scored in a Carabao Cup win over Blackburn.

However, his season was blighted by injury troubles and Newcastle fans didn’t see the same player who combined so well with Callum Wilson at Bournemouth.

Whelan insists spending time in an international training camp will only help Fraser get his confidence and fitness back.

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“Fraser has a problem,” Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“Newcastle are much better when their best attacking players are available. Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin mainly.

“When Newcastle improved at the end of the season, Fraser was nowhere to been seen.

“He wasn’t part of the resurgence and the fans have barely seen him this year.

“I think he can benefit from Scotland’s training camp. To get stronger and to get that confidence back.

“He needs that belief back in his game. That’s huge and will do him the world of good.

“Whether he’s playing or not, he will be training at a very high level and that can only be beneficial for players who have struggled with injures the season before.”

Fraser was a second half substitute as Scotland lost 2-0 to the Czech Republic in their opening Euro 2020 game.

The Scots travel to Wembley on Friday to face an in-from England side.

In other news, this pundit has told Newcastle to re-sign a soon-available ‘gem’.