Rafa Benitez signed some sensational players as Newcastle boss, but Fabian Schar was one of his best.
The Swiss defender arrived in the summer of 2018, having just suffered relegation with Deportivo La Coruna.
He only cost £3million due to a clause in his contract, and it quickly became clear that he was an absolute bargain.
When the Magpies moved to a back five, Schar came into his own. As the right-sided centre-back, Schar became one of Newcastle’s most important players.
His range of passing and lung-busting runs from defence were Philippe Albert-esque, and he also scored some cracking goals. There was the solo effort against Cardiff, then the thunderbolt versus Burnley.
But now with Steve Bruce at the helm and ‘five at the back’ hopefully in the distant past, Schar is no longer a starter at St James’ Park.
Is it time to cash in on Schar?
As it stands, Newcastle have six senior centre-backs when everyone is fit. This made sense when we used three per game, as it meant we had cover.
However, with Bruce deploying a centre-back duo now, the need for so many top class defenders has decreased.
It seems likely that someone will move on this summer, and Schar might be the best candidate.
Out of our six centre-backs, we could get a serious amount of money for Schar and Jamaal Lascelles. But the rest would only command modest fees.
Lascelles is captain and a key member of the squad, so maybe Schar should be the one to make way.
With the current system, his face no longer fits. He’s never looked as comfortable in a back four, but has still played well enough in the past to be worth at least £20million you’d imagine.
And if we did get a sizeable sum of money for the 28-year-old, it could be used to strengthen other areas of the squad.
Thinking about selling Schar is not a slight on his quality. At times he’s been an absolute joy to watch, which is something you very rarely say about a defender.
But maybe the time has come to move him on. We can make a serious profit, and improve the rest of the squad with the money.