Rafa Benitez always does his homework thoroughly before each transfer list and comes up with his targets for each position – in priority order.
As we are finding out this month, Rafa may not get many of his top targets through the door although we still have a decent chance f buying Miguel Almiron if Newcastle increase their initial £17M for the
Paraguayan International playmaker.
After the fantastic Man of the Match performance of Fabian Schar on Saturday in the crucial relegation battle with Cardiff – Rafa has revealed he was the top center-back target for Newcastle last summer.
It wasn’t Federico Fernandez either – who was brought in to fill in for the injured Florian Lejeune – and has also played well for the club.
Rafa wanted a ball playing center-back last summer, and he seems to have brought in an excellent one in Fabian Schar who looks a goal threat too – with his brilliant two goals on Saturday.
Fabian Schar – after scoring on Saturday
Rafa found out about Schar’s relegation release clause of €3.5M in his contract and once Deportivo were relegated he snapped him up – and he’s been another bargain basement buy for Newcastle.
Fabian is an extremely popular player in his native Switzerland, and he seems to be just as popular at Newcastle.
This is how Benitez explained how he signed Schar this summer:
“He cost €3.5M (about £3.0M).”
“I knew him when he was at Basel – but also when he was at Deportivo La Coruna.”
“I have some friends there and they told me about the relegation release clause, and we started analyzing things.”
“I would be lying if I said he was always the first target, but we knew he could come in and help.”
“We knew he had experience and had some quality on the ball, especially with his right foot.”
“He has done really well. We have some really good center-backs.”
Sometimes players further down the list turn out to be top signings – and it looks like we have one in Fabian Schar.
The back line has improved with Newcastle now playing with two ball-playing center-backs in Fabian Schar and Florian Lejeune.
With captain Jamaal Lascelles playing in the center with Florian on the left and Fabian on the right – they looked solid all game long on Saturday with Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu the two wing-backs.
We also have center-backs Federico Fernandez and Ciaran Clark who have both performed well at the back when they have played this season.
We are solid at center-back now – as Rafa points out