Having performed above expectations to secure a top-ten finish last season, Newcastle have made six additions to their squad ahead of a daunting start to the new campaign that will see them face Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in their opening five fixtures.
One of those signings was centre-back Fabian Schär, but a cruciate knee ligament injury suffered by Florian Lejeune means that the Magpies remain on the lookout for somebody to join the Swiss international, Ciaran Clark and Jamaal Lascelles in that position.
If media reports are to be believed, then that man could well be Federico Fernandez, a player who excelled at Napoli under Rafael Benitez, though Swansea are thought to be holding out for a £10m fee before letting him go.
The Argentina international, part of his country’s squad as they reached the final of the World Cup back in 2014, has already expressed his desire to continue playing at the highest level, and perhaps his current employers would have been had he featured in every game last term:
|CLUB Swansea City||AGE 29Y 5M|
|POS DEF||HEIGHT 6FT 3IN|
Avg Goal for
Avg Goals against
Mins per goal for
Mins per goal against
Shots for per game
Points per game
In fact, Swansea won an extra 10% of their top-flight matches when the 29-year-old took to the pitch during 2017/18, averaging 0.3 more points per game and keeping seven of their nine clean sheets along the way.
A no-nonsense defender who isn’t afraid to get the ball out of dangerous areas, Fernandez also boasts the sort of experience that can be hard to come by, having clocked up over 100 appearances in the Premier League:
Newcastle may want to negotiate a player-plus-cash deal for the centre-back, as £10m represents a significant part of their remaining transfer budget, but the former Swansea captain’s performances during his time in England have certainly been pretty consistent.
The Acca Smacker
For fans across the continent, the excitement is building. A new season is here and optimism is rife. Will new signings stun? Will titles be won? Everyone hopes, but nobody knows. Domestic football’s back, and we could be happier.
KickOff’s unique Acca Smacker is also making a timely return, bringing you Predictions, Form Streaks and Form Stats for every market, every match and every top competition. We’ve made building a winning bet so easy it feels like cheating, so why not have a go below and give those bookies a bashing?