Newcastle have just announced the singing of Fabian Schär, a Swiss centerback who most recently played for Deportivo in La Liga. The Swiss centerback was signed for a fee of only £3.5million, a testament to the budget Rafael Benetiz has been given this weekend. Although Schär is one of the cheapest signings of the Premier League Summer Window, he certainly might not be the worst.
Schär, comes to Newcastle with a wealth of playing experience at all levels of the professional game. The 26-year-old just finished being an anchor for the Swiss team during their World Cup run after over 40 caps as well as 7 goals for the national team. He has won the Swiss league 3 times, and additionally has played in both the Champion League and Europa League. The guy comes with a chock full of experience despite being under 30 years of age. After a long career in the Swiss league, followed by a short Bundesliga stint and a short La Liga stint, the centerback has decided to make the jump to the Premier League.
At Newcastle, expect him to be very similar to Lejeune, as he is a solid defender who is excellent with his feet. Defensively, Schär has always been regarded as rock solid, especially for the Swiss national team. The former FIFA career mode legend is known for his leadership from the back and his ability to stay composed under ridiculous amounts of pressure. At Basel, Schär took the role of being the last man back as well as the organizer of the defense when he was playing alongside Aleksandar Dragović, a centerback who liked to get forward a ton. This is an encouraging sign for any Newcastle player that has watched Deandre Yedlin play a game, as Yedlin loves to get forward, and too often relies on his pace to get back. This is only really an issue when Yedlin is coming up against really pacey wingers, which the Premier League has plenty of.
This past season Schär averaged around two tackles a game and 2 interceptions a game, those numbers are nothing to write home about but are positive signs that he is a defensive work horse. On the pitch Schär’s positioning is on par, and it had to be. He has played the role of being the “last defender back” at all of his clubs as well as the national team, as he is usually paired alongside a centerback that joins the attack.
He not only plays this role because he is a solid defender, but also because his biggest offensive strength is the long balls he plays from the back. Schär’s clearances are usually all passes to teammates in order to begin a counter attack. His passing completion rate over this past season with Deportivo was 80%, but when surrounded by better players during the World Cup, this number jumped to 84%. Those stats may not sound great on paper, but when you compare him to other centerbacks in the league he looks to be a more promising distributor. Harry Maguire finished last season with a 78% pass completion rate, Lascelles with a 77% pass completion rate, and Lejeune with a 76% pass completion rate. Underneath Benetiz, we could see this percentage grow and maybe he becomes the next Pique.
Realistically, I reckon Rafa rates him higher than Clark and he could be starting for the team by the second or third match, given Lejeune’s injury is serious. If Newcastle manage to capture the signing of Diego Reyes It would not be out of the question for them to begin playing 3 in the back especially since the team only has 3 fullbacks on the roster. This is something we have seen a little bit during the preseason, and couple of times last season. If we were to go 3 in the back I would fully expect a ball playing CB like Schär to be in the starting line up. Schär seems like a good signing, and an absolute steal at £3.5million. Best of luck to the lad, and I am excited to see how he plays this season. From the looks of it, he looks excited to be here.
Hello Magpies, I'm really looking forward to my new challenge in Newcastle. The club is one of the big names of the @premierleague with a long tradition and a great history. I want to do my part to ensure that @nufc can look forward to a bright future. Already today I am looking forward to getting to know you all. And I really enjoy thinking back to the great atmosphere during the 2012 Olympic Games when we competed with the Swiss Olympic team in Newcastle. These are great memories and I would like to add some more with the black and white jerseys. Come on! Fabi