Fabian Schar: An underrated, underappreciated bargain at £3 million
Newcastle United were lucky last season. Not for surviving relegation, but for another reason. After Deportivo de La Coruña's relegation in the 2017-18 season, the Magpies were able to activate Fabian Schar's release clause and sign him for a mere £3 million. In this day, to get a defender of his quality and his age for that price is pure luck.
It took some time for the Swiss international to settle in the Premier League, but now he has become a fan favourite at Tyneside. During the second half of last season, he cemented his place at the heart of the Magpies' defence. This season is no different as Schar has started from where he stopped last season. The Swiss international was crucial in their victory against Tottenham Hotspur. He scored the goal against Watford which helped Newcastle salvage a point from the game.
The sad fact is, Fabian Schar is not getting the recognition he deserves. He has averaged 3.3 interceptions per game, 3.5 clearances per game, 3.3 tackles per game as well as one block per game so far this season. Apart from the stats, his ball playing skills allow him to start attacks. His performances last season played a crucial role in saving Newcastle from relegation.
As mentioned earlier, Fabian Schar took his time to settle into the Premier League. He just played 78 minutes in the first ten Premier League games last season. Ever since Rafa Benitez started using him regularly, Newcastle United started performing better. The results improved and the Tyneside survived the relegation battle. He even scored four goals out of which one was the goal of the month for February. Who can forget that 30-yard-strike against Burnley?
He displays a sense of calmness when he is on the ball. Schar is always alert and has the capability of nullifying attacks with his brilliant tackling and intercepting skills. Apart from his defensive duties, he has an eye for the long ball and can score goals as well.
Defending becomes an easier job if you have quality defenders around you. The task becomes difficult when it comes to the case of Newcastle United. If the budget is limited, it is nearly impossible to get the ones that are the best in the business.
In that case, grabbing Fabian Schar for a fee of £3 million can easily be qualified as the bargain buy of last summer. It's not sure how long Schar will be at St. James' Park but he will be crucial to Newcastle United's campaign this season.