Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar will play a crucial role in the club’s hopes of surviving in the Premier League this season, according to Darren Bent.
The former Sunderland and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the Swiss international is absolutely vital to the Magpies, having proved his worth in his first season at St James’ Park.
Schar arrived on Tyneside from Deportivo La Coruna during the summer of 2018 and quickly established himself as a first-team star under former manager Rafael Benitez.
The 27-year-old has continued as a mainstay under Steve Bruce, playing all four Premier League games so far this season, getting on the scoresheet against Watford on Saturday.
Having been linked with a move away from the north east over the summer, Bent says that it was important Newcastle managed to keep a hold of him and that he will play a big role this season.
Bent told Football Insider: “Newcastle couldn’t afford to lose him because he’s a very, very good player. It was a good goal (v Watford).
“If he can stay fit all season, that gives Newcastle a really good chance (of survival) because I think he’s their best defender.”
Schar played a total of 28 times across all competitions last season, taking a couple of months to establish himself as a first-team regular.
He had a record of picking up yellow cards, getting booked in five of his first six appearances for the club, and ended the season with 12 cautions to his name, forcing him to sit out a total of three games suspended.