Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe has overseen a real revival at St James’ Park since his appointment just over a year ago, having taken the Magpies from fearing for their safety at the foot of the table to now being well-placed for Champions League football.
While many will point to the club’s investment in that time under the new ownership as the recent factor behind that success – having notably spent over £100m in the summer window – that has potentially done a disservice to the Englishman’s coaching credentials, with the 44-year-old having seemingly rejuvenated a number of players already at the club in recent times.
The likes of Joelinton and Miguel Almiron – who has netted eight league goals this season – have been the obvious names to have flourished since the former Bournemouth boss walked in the door, although that duo are not the only figures to have enjoyed a real resurgence of late.
Another to have blossomed at St James’ Park in the last 12 months or so is centre-back, Fabian Schar, with the Switzerland international – who is set to feature for his country at the World Cup – having been a bedrock of the Tynesiders’ success this season.
The 30-year-old has formed a rock-solid partnership alongside summer signing Sven Botman so far this term, with the pair helping to form part of a backline that has shipped just 11 league goals this season – the joint-best record in the division to date.
The 73-cap sensation had initially joined the club on a £3m deal back in the summer of 2018, although was unable to truly impress during his time under former boss Steve Bruce, with journalist John Gibson suggesting that the experienced ace had been a “walking mistake” at times in the past.
As Gibson also pointed out, however, that has since been “eliminated from his game” during Howe’s tenure, with the player himself admitting to having benefitted from working under the Amersham-born visionary, having previously come close to joining his manager at the Cherries in the past.
The Newcastle boss himself has also been pleased by what he has seen from the £40k-per-week colossus, suggesting that the club were able to pull off an “incredible piece of business” with their initial, bargain capture of the centre-back.
The astute nature of that swoop has been laid bare by the fact that Schar is now believed to be worth around £8.7m, according to CIES Football Observatory, with that a 190% rise from his initial cost.
That illustrates just how the Magpies truly did strike gold by bringing the 6 foot 2 ace to England from La Liga side Deportivo La Coruna just over four years ago.