Ryan Fraser: Eddie Howe says Bournemouth winger won't play again for the club

Fraser rejected short-term extension of contract this week and is set to leave club at end of month

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Eddie Howe says that he only wants players 'focused on the relegation battle'

Ryan Fraser will not play for Bournemouth again following his decision to reject a short-term contract extension, manager Eddie Howe says.

The 26-year-old Scotland international, who remained eligible for the club's remaining two league games in June, is set to leave the club when his current deal ends on June 30.

"[Fraser] has now played his last game for the football club. He won't be involved with us for the last nine games," Howe said.

"I only want players who are fully focused on the relegation battle we have ahead and I'm looking forward to doing that with my squad."

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01:  Eddie Howe, Manager of AFC Bournemouth walks out to inspect the pitch with Ryan Fraser prior to the Premier League match b
Image: Howe says he is sad that Fraser's time at the club has ended the way it has

He added: "These are the most important games this football club has had in recent times and we need everybody in the same position mentally, fight tooth and nail for the football club.

"Ryan, due to his contract situation, can't commit to that. Two games for us wasn't going to make the difference. We need a nine-game commitment and he can't give that at this moment in time.

"We go ahead with the current squad and probably the strongest squad I've had to pick from this season. Hopefully that will show in the games we have."

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Fraser helped Bournemouth earn promotion from League One in his first season at the club in 2013, before winning promotion to the Premier League with them two years later. He has since made 120 Premier League appearances for the south-coast side.

Ryan Fraser during the Premier League match between AFC Bournemouth and Leicester City at Vitality Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
Image: Fraser has made 120 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth, scoring 16 goals

However, he has scored just once in 32 appearances for this season after he was linked with interest from Arsenal last summer.

"I've enjoyed working with Ryan," said Howe, who signed Fraser from Aberdeen as an 18-year-old.

"When you look at his career progression since he signed for us to where he is now, it's been one of huge positivity and progression and improvement. That only happens to a player who is totally committed to what he's doing.

"He didn't deserve this ending but the circumstances that have arisen have meant this has happened.

"I'm sad for him because he's had a really good link with the supporters and they've really loved him during his time here. The way it's ended is uncomfortable for me and it's sad because it shouldn't have ended like this."

Bournemouth, who sit inside the relegation zone on goal difference, resume their league season against Crystal Palace at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday.

Analysis: Stronger squad to save Bournemouth?

Sky Sports' Oliver Yew:

The Bournemouth treatment room is finally emptying out and that's a huge boost for Eddie Howe as he tries to lead his side away from the relegation zone when the Premier League returns. David Brooks is in line to return, Lloyd Kelly is set for his first taste of Premier League football and Howe has defensive reinforcements to call upon.

"Fingers crossed we will have a stronger squad than when we stopped playing," Howe told The Sun. "Yes, it will be a huge lift and boost for us when we get Brooks back - we've definitely missed him this season. He's a very, very good player and did so well for us last season, building up such good relationships with all the others around him. So far he is looking good and I'm really happy with his progress, fingers crossed he will be OK for the first game.

"But it's not just him. There are other players that could come back into contention. Arnaut Danjuma, Chris Mepham, Lloyd Kelly and Steve Cook are all back in training and they were not available when we stopped. I would like to think by the time we get back to playing, we will be stronger in defence and other areas as well."

Howe will certainly need that stronger squad with Bournemouth, who have had an inconsistent season up until now, set for tricky trips to Wolves, Manchester City and Manchester United in the coming weeks as they look to protect their Premier League status.

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