MODEST Ryan Fraser admitted he did not view himself as a “top player” – despite trailing just Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard in the European assist rankings.

With 11 each, only Barcelona star Messi and Chelsea talisman Hazard have been the providers of more goals in the flagship leagues of England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France this season.

Fraser’s cross for Callum Wilson in the victory at Huddersfield last Saturday moved him up to 10 for 2018-19, making him the first Scot to register double figures for assists in a Premier League campaign.

But the 25-year-old, a £400,000 bargain buy from Aberdeen in 2013, is still demanding more of himself.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Newcastle (3pm), Fraser told the Daily Echo: “I’m honest enough to say when I have had bad games. I’m not one to hide away from it.

“In the past four weeks – apart from at Arsenal where we got beaten 5-1 but I thought I played well – I haven’t been great.

“All I can do is try to improve and against Huddersfield, luckily enough, I did well.

“I don’t kid myself, it is very difficult to have a full season where you are bang on it.

“Even the top players come off it sometimes. I don’t see myself as a top player but I sometimes look at them and think that if they are having a bad game or a bad couple of weeks, maybe I shouldn’t be too hard on myself.

“It’s how you come back from it and luckily enough, against Huddersfield I got a goal and an assist and, more importantly, we got the win.

“If Kingy (Joshua King) had scored from my cross, I would be drawing with Hazard.

“But I don’t look at it, to be honest. The lads told me I am one behind him. I’m nowhere near as good as him, so to be close to him is nice.”

The Sun claimed this week that Everton could be tempted to make a £20million summer bid for Fraser.

But Eddie Howe has already underlined that the Scotland international has a “huge future” at Vitality Stadium.

In addition to his 10 assists, Fraser has also scored six goals in the top flight this campaign.

Asked if he had envisaged such impressive statistics last summer, Fraser said: “I was very happy and confident I would have a good season.

“You never know what you are going to get because I don’t really make targets for myself.

“I never seem to get an easy assist. I always have to do something hard to get one. Last week, I saw someone roll the ball to someone 30 yards out and they got one!

“I’ll do my best and that’s all I can do. Hopefully, for me and more importantly the team, we have a good end to the season.”