Why Arsenal should reignite interest in Newcastle United star Fabian Schar
Back in March last season, a report from the Metro claimed that Arsenal manager Unai Emery was keen to complete a raid on Newcastle United for centre-back Fabian Schar during the summer transfer window. However, a deal never really materialized and Schar continued to excel at St. James’ Park.
Arsenal went on to sign talented teenager William Saliba from St. Etienne and veteran David Luiz from Chelsea in the summer following the departure of long-serving club-captain Laurent Koscielny under acrimonious circumstances.
That, however, hasn’t really sorted out the Gunners’ problems at the back, with Unai Emery still struggling to assemble a formidable defensive unit.
Arsenal currently sit 3rd in the Premier League standings after a promising start but their defensive instability has once again been a key talking point and one that could prove to be a stumbling block in their pursuit of a top-four finish.
Kieran Tierney, who arrived from Celtic in the summer, Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding have all spent time on the treatment table in the opening stages of the campaign, while Luiz has already made the headlines on numerous occasions for his defensive blunders.
Shkodran Mustafi is pretty much a marginalised figure these days after coming under heavy criticism in the previous campaign while Sokratis seems to be turning into another error-prone defender in Arsenal’s ranks with his advancing years.
Elsewhere, Schar has continued to prove his worth as one of the best bargains in the Premier League since the turn of the century.
The Swiss international arrived for a fee of just £3 million last summer after the Magpies triggered the release clause in his contract at Deportivo La Coruna and the 27-year-old has established himself as one of the mainstays of the club’s backline.
The 27-year-old has simply made a mockery of his rather modest-looking price tag, featuring on 37 occasions in all competitions and scoring 5 goals in the process.
Not only has he caught the eye with his aerial ability, sound game reading skills and proficiency in clearing the ball away to safety, but Schar has also impressed a lot with his technical abilities on the ball and his range of passing.
The 52-cap Swiss star, who picked up as many as six man-of-the-match awards in the Premier League last season, has already hit the ground running this term and put in an exemplary display at the back to help the Magpies register a shock 1-0 victory over Man United this week.
As per whoscored, Schar averages 2.8 tackles, 2.4 interceptions, 4.9 clearances and 4 successful long balls per game this season, figures which are quite brilliant for any centre-back in the world.
It is true that those numbers have a lot to do with Newcastle’s ineptitude in retaining possession but one should hardly take any credit away from the 27-year-old.
To put things into perspective, Arsenal should make it a priority to reignite their interest in Fabian Schar and go all out in their pursuit of the Swiss international in January.
The Gunners continue to be linked with a host of central defenders from different leagues in Europe but it is imperative to say that Schar is a centre-back of proven quality in the Premier League and his ball-playing nature should make him an ideal fit for Emery’s philosophy, which necessitates the defenders to play the ball out from the back and initiate the build-up play.
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The 27-year-old is very much in his prime and he is likely to be available well within their budget, albeit Newcastle will be expected to demand a fee well in excess of the £3 million that they paid for his services last summer.
A centre-back with such well-rounded attributes would definitely be a perfect addition to Arsenal’s backline while his age means that the Gunners can also afford to look at him as an excellent long-term solution to their defensive conundrum.
With that in mind, Arsenal should go back in the market for the bargain Newcastle United star and a potential deal for him in January could go a long way towards transforming them into top-four favourites.