Ryan Fraser: Bournemouth winger no longer 'shy man' of Cherries

Eddie Howe and Ryan Fraser
Ryan Fraser (right) feels he has Eddie Howe to thank for helping him flourish

Ryan Fraser says he does not recognise the "shy" 18-year-old that joined Bournemouth in 2013, and has manager Eddie Howe to thank for his transformation.

Fraser, 22, has caught the eye for the Cherries with some influential performances in his breakthrough Premier League season, earning him a contract extension this month.

It is a rapid progression from the teenager who joined from Aberdeen in January 2013.

"I was just a young boy back then," he told BBC Radio Solent. "I was a little bit shy, I didn't speak to the lads for a while, but now it's a big change."

'I need to pay him back'

The Scotland Under-21 winger singles out Howe for helping him grow up as both a player and person while on the south coast.

"He's helped me with my life, not just my football," Fraser said of his boss. "He's been more than just a manager.

"I need to pay him back for everything he's done for me. I love this club and he's a big part in me wanting to stay."

Fraser played a peripheral part in the Championship-winning squad that propelled Bournemouth into the top flight for the first time in 2015.

Last season, he went back to plying his trade in the second tier during an eventful loan at Ipswich, a move his manager says was all part of his long-term plan.

"Since the day he walked into this club, there's always been a debate about when he was ready," Howe admitted.

"We've always believed in his ability in affecting games, whether that be in the Championship or the Premier League.

Ryan Fraser
Ryan Fraser scored six goals during his loan spell at Ipswich, including on his debut

"But last year he was still developing his strength and physicality, which have always been concerns for us. The spell at Ipswich helped his ability to play games consecutively for 90 minutes.

"Once he got through that barrier, that moved him to the next level."

Pocket rocket unleashed

But, after making his Premier League debut in August against West Ham, chances were initially scarce for Fraser.

"When you're in and out of the team and you don't get a run of games, people don't know how hard it can be," Fraser said.

But a run of games, which started with a goal in a thrilling 4-3 home win against Liverpool, have seen Fraser terrorise defences with his pace and trickery.

"His best performance was probably at home against Arsenal," Howe claimed. "He was up against probably one of the best right-backs in the Premier League in Hector Bellerin, and was outstanding that night."

Ryan Fraser celebrates scoring against Liverpool
A goal off the bench against Liverpool in December helped introduce Fraser to a new audience

Three goals in Fraser's past nine Premier League appearances have lit up an at times testing campaign for the Cherries.

"I still think I'm doing well, even though the results haven't been great of late," he said. "If I can just keep going and get an assist or a goal, you just never know.

"We just need that one result, it will do wonders for us."

Ryan Fraser and Eddie Howe were talking to BBC Radio Solent's Kris Temple.

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