Darren Bent claims that Newcastle United centre-back Fabian Schar will be straight back into the starting XI when he recovers from his injury layoff.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Sunderland and England striker says that the Swiss international is not only the Magpies’ best defender but potentially the best player at St James’ Park and will replace one of the current starters when he returns.

Schar missed the 1-1 clash with Wolves, Jamaal Lascelles, Ciaran Clark and Federico Fernandez starting in a back three, and manager Steve Bruce has confirmed the 27-year-old will be absent against West Ham on Saturday.

Despite Fernandez and Lascelles linking up for the Magpies’ goal against Wolves and Clark starting the last three games, Bent insists that Schar is going to take one of their places as soon as he is back.

Asked who Schar could replace, Bent told Football Insider: “He’s taking any one of them, to be honest.

“He’s their best defender and arguably he’s their best player. For me, he’s one of those players in the team where most people have to work to get back in there just because, if things are going well. 

“This guy won’t have to because he’s so key to the way they play so for me he’ll just slot straight back in.”

Schar had played in every match of Newcastle’s campaign before suffering his injury layoff, netting his first goal of the season with a fine strike against Watford.

He has a total of 38 appearances for the Magpies since arriving from Deportivo La Coruna, hitting the back of the net five times.

In other Newcastle United news, Darren Bent claims one player has been a huge miss for the Magpies.