Fabian Schar has become one of our star players this season after he could get a game for the first two or three months.
He came on in the second half of the home game against Watford, and we won that game 1-0 – our first win of the season and it was our 11th game.
Schar is one of our best buys as Newcastle triggered the release clause of just £3M in his contract when Deportivo were relegated from the Spanish First Division.
The 27-year-old quickly settled into the first team, and he’s been consistently good for us all season.
Newcastle have the seventh-best defensive record conceding only 45 goals in the Premier League, so that’s something to build on.
We need to score a lot more than the 36 goals we’ve scored in out 36 games.
This is what Schar has said about his first season on Tyneside:
“The first weeks or months were really tough when I didn’t play too much, and also the team wasn’t getting good results.”
“But now, after one season, I can be really happy with what happened here.”
“I enjoy playing here with all my team-mates, with the special stadium, with the fans always with us – for me, it’s a really nice year and I’m happy for this year.”
“Now, where we are and where we were after 10 games … we can be quite happy,”
“We were last after 10 games with three points. It’s a good aim, we had, and we improved in the second half (of the season). Now to already have 40 points is a good thing.”
“For myself, the season was quite good and I enjoyed my first season here.”
“We improved. We worked a lot, and that’s what you can see over the season.”
“It’s not only the defenders. I think that’s why we get some good results. It’s hard to break us down. I’m happy to be part of the team.”
“Nobody wants to fight with relegation – it’s clear,”
“The Premier League is a really tough league when you see how many teams are close to the bottom. It’s always tough.”
“But, of course, I think we have quality in the team.”
“If we continue like we did this season, I’m looking forward to improving next season.”
Schar is one of the players Benitez can build his new Newcastle side on – always assuming Rafa will still be here next season.