Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly set to wage battle in pursuit of Fabian Schar, who has been in fine form for Newcastle United this season.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Fabian Schar is the subject of interest from North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham over a possible move in the summer transfer window. The two Premier League heavyweights have been interested in the Newcastle United superstar since his days with FC Basel.
Fabian Schar is a player who has gone under the radar of most top clubs for much of his senior career, having started out at boyhood club FC Wil 1900 in 2009, aged just 17. After honing his skills at FC Basel, Hoffenheim and Deportivo La Coruna, the 27-year-old centre-back made his way to the Premier League, joining Newcastle United.
As is usually the case with foreign players making their way to the Premier League, Schar experienced initial teething problems too. But, since becoming a regular in Rafa Benitez’s side, the Swiss defender has played a leading role in the Magpies’ ascent up the table, which seems to have earned him admirers in the form of Arsenal and Tottenham.
Arsenal did sign Sokratis Papastathopoulos last summer, but have seen the Greek blow hot and cold this season. Apart from Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi has proven to be an unreliable defender while Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos are still in their developmental years, leaving Laurent Koscielny as the only consistent presence at the back.
But, at 33, Koscielny is in the twilight years of his career, explaining why Arsenal could be in the market for a centre-back, having also been linked with Matthijs de Ligt, as per recent widespread reports. But, Schar also seems to be a viable target, although he is also being pursued by the Gunners’ local rivals Tottenham.
Spurs have been known to be strong on the defensive front under Mauricio Pochettino, but have seen that image take a beating this season. Furthermore, the future of Toby Alderweireld continues to be uncertain upon the triggering of a one-year extension clause in his contract, which makes him available for a cut-price £25 million.
Should Alderweireld leave, as is being anticipated, Pochettino will need to sign a replacement, seeing as he will have Jan Vertonghen, Juan Foyth and Davinson Sanchez as his only central defensive options. Therefore, it is clear why Schar has emerged as a target for Tottenham.
In fact, one look at Newcastle’s record with and without Schar in the side would explain why he is an appealing prospect for Arsenal and Tottenham. The Magpies have won 50% of the games that the Swiss defender has started, while managing to win three points in just one of the 14 games he hasn’t.
It now remains to be seen if Fabian Schar ends up taking the major step towards joining a Premier League ‘Big Six’ side by joining either Arsenal or Tottenham, or if Newcastle United end up keeping hold of their prized possession. If they do not, however, chances are they will make quite a profit on the £3 million they paid to sign him from Deportivo La Coruna.