Newcastle United have suffered in the transfer market in recent years, with the previous ownership often limiting managers to making shrewd signings to ensure the money kept flowing. Under Mike Ashley, they averaged a net spend of just £9.3m per year.
At times this worked against those in charge, playing a large role in their 2016 relegation, but sometimes it resulted in some hidden gems being unearthed for a nominal price.
One such example is Fabian Schar, who continues to grow into his role as a classy centre-back alongside either Dan Burn or Sven Botman.
Back in 2018, Newcastle forked out just £3m for his services after activating his release clause, with the defender branding himself as someone who is different from your typical centre-back: “I defend, but I’m quite good with the ball.”
He showed this characteristic in no time at St James’ Park, with his ability to spray passes being a breath of fresh air. However, his tendency to take risks to do this often led to silly mistakes which has seen his class overshadowed.
Despite this, he has featured 106 times for the Toon in what is his most appearances for a club only behind his boyhood FC Basel.
Back in 2019, he was labelled a “superb” defender who “cleared up everything and is fantastic on the ball”, and Eddie Howe now is utilising him as that kind of player as he has featured six times in their opening seven Premier League fixtures this season.
His 7.43 average SofaScore rating truly outlines just how impressive the 30-year-old has been, as he finally appears to be perfecting his role at the club. To average 0.8 key passes per game too for a centre-back is fantastic, and further outlines his quality.
It is, therefore, no surprise to see Transfermarkt now value the Swiss international at £8.1m, a 170% increase from the initial fee paid to bring him to Tyneside.
Having sat on only £40k-per-week wages too, this transfer marks an all-around wonderful piece of business from a club that is finally reaping huge rewards for their faith.
He is the perfect partner for a more brutish defender in Burn or Botman, as he oozes class across the pitch. Schar has been a great buy for Newcastle.