Federico Fernandez was keen to come to Newcastle last summer to link up with Rafa Benitez – who he had played for in Italy at Napoli back in 2013.
So when Federico got the call from Rafa on the very last day of the transfer window he immediately said yes and rushed to sign for Newcastle before the deadline.
The Argentine International was brought in to fill in for Florian Lejeune after the Frenchman picked up a serious ACL knee injury in late July during training.
Federico found himself the first choice with Lascelles during the first half of the season, but with Lejeune fit and Schar coming into the team in early November, he hasn’t been in the team much since late last year.
Federico Fernandez – playing against Arsenal
But he played in the last game at Bournemouth, with Fabian Schar being suspended and could well keep his place at Arsenal on Monday night.
Federico is also in constant touch with former Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini who continues to speak well of everything Newcastle.
This is some of what Fernandez has said in a lengthy interview in the Chronicle today:
“For me to represent my country was one of the best moments a player can have in their football career.”
“I enjoyed my time with great players like Messi.” “It was great for me to play at a World Cup. We were so, so close to winning it against Germany.”
“It was a dream for me though. When I was a kid you dream big.” “It doesn’t get bigger than playing for the national team.”
“We talked when I first came here he gave me some good words of advice.” “It gave me an advantage.”
“He also had a friend who lives here and he introduced me.” “We have kept in touch.”
“He speaks very well about Newcastle, everything about it, the club, city, fans and the people.”
“I’ve been here eight months already now.” “I’d love to follow the success of Coloccini.”
“He was here many years and as a football player you want to play at a high level as much as possible.”
“That’s what we can try to do.”You focus on each game and every year try to get better and better.”
Fernandez has 32 full caps for Argentina, and Fabricio Coloccini had a total of 39 caps during his career.
Everybody is fit for the game at Arsenal on Monday night except local lad Sean Longstaff, and Schar is suspended for the game.
So Rafa has lots of good players to choose from, and maybe we can get something out of the game?