Newcastle United star shines in dazzling 14-minute cameo on international return

Newcastle United winger Ryan Fraser earned his first Scotland cap in almost a year as he came off the bench in Wednesday night’s 3-0 Nations League win over Ukraine.

After a goalless first half, Aston Villa’s John McGinn gave Scotland the lead on the 70 minute mark. Fraser was then introduced alongside Queens Park Rangers striker Lyndon Dykes for the closing stages of the match.

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And the duo made quite the impact as they combined in the 80th and 87th minute with Fraser setting up Dykes twice as the match ended 3-0.

Scotland's forward Ryan Fraser kicks the ball during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualification Group F football match between Faroe Islands and Scotland, in the Torsvollur stadium in Torshavn, Faroe Islands, on October 12, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP) (Photo by JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images)

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It was Fraser’s first appearance for his country since he controversially withdrew from the squad last year with a suspected calf injury only to be spotted training at Newcastle days later.

The 28-year-old later apologised to Scotland manager Steve Clarke for his actions and was understood to be back in contention for a call-up only for injury to rule him out of June’s crucial World Cup qualifier play-off match against Ukraine.

After failing to start any of Newcastle’s opening four Premier League matches, Fraser has now started the last three for the club prior to Wednesday night’s match at Hampden Park.

Explaining the decision to recall Fraser, Clarke said: "There's no real process with Ryan. I said in March, when he missed the two friendly matches, we had a chat.

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"Ryan wasn't playing for Newcastle at the time. I said at the time, if he is fit and playing well for Newcastle, he's definitely one that we have to consider for selection.

"That's why he's in the squad this time, because he's fit and available and playing well for Newcastle."