In recent weeks, Federico Fernandez has been a rock.
The Argentinian centre-back is enduring a real purple patch with the Magpies, an inspirational figure alongside Ciaran Clark and Paul Dummett.
Ever since Fabian Schar was ruled out of the Wolves game at the end of October, Fernandez has played every minute of Premier League football.
He’s slotted in brilliantly as the right-sided centre-back, a role that seemed to belong to Schar – our best ball-playing defender. But Fernandez has stepped up in his absence, and now seems undroppable.
He arrived in the summer of 2018 to add extra depth at the back, signing a two-year deal. That contract ends next summer, and Newcastle must extend his stay at St James’ Park.
He turns 31 in February, but his age shouldn’t matter. Even if it’s just for another year or two, we must keep Fernandez at the club. He’s a leader at the back, a committed player who is always ready to step up to the plate when needed.
Newcastle have six excellent centre-backs, all with different qualities. Fernandez’s experience is invaluable right now, and it would be a big risk to let him leave for absolutely nothing in 2020.