Newcastle United have completed the signing of defender Fabian Schär – who becomes the club’s fourth summer signing.
The 26-year-old, fresh from helping Switzerland reach the knockout stages of the 2018 World Cup, joins from La Liga side Deportivo La Coruña.
He signs a three-year deal after the Magpies activated his £3 million release clause – some of which view as a bargain for the international defender.
Schär joins other summer arrivals Martin Dubravka, Ki Sung-Yeung and Kenedy on Tyneside, with Mainz 05 forward Yoshinori Muto expected to follow in the coming days.
Schär has his say
“I’m really happy to be here,” Schär told NUFC.co.uk. “The club is a really big club for me. It has a big name, and it is a brilliant chance for me.”
Schär has been described as an “interesting player” by La Liga specialist Simon Harrison and believes his strengths are playing out from the back and openly taking risks.
“I’m not like a typical defender,” admitted Schär. “I, of course, defend, but I’m quite good with the ball – I like to play, I want to build up the game from behind, and I think that is a strength of mine.”
The Magpies might just have found an unlikely goalscorer on their hands. The former FC Basel man has an eye-catching 26 goals and 11 assists to his name since beginning his professional career with FC Wil 1990 in 2009.
He said: “I have also scored some headers – that could also be a strength and hopefully I can use it here.”
Benitez is “pleased”
Following the long-awaited departure of Chancel Mbemba to FC Porto earlier in the week, Rafael Benitez has acted quickly to replace the DR Congolese international.
The concern surrounding Florian Lejenue’s unassessed knee injury is also another reason why the Schär deal is crucial – leaving Benitez “pleased to welcome Fabian to Newcastle United.”
“He is an international, did well in the World Cup and has great experience,” Benitez said. “He adds competition in this position and that is a positive for the team.”
Schär will wear the number five shirt for the upcoming season, and could feature in the Magpies' next pre-season game against FC Porto on Saturday.