Danny Mills believes Fabian Schar is a key player for Newcastle after his ‘exceptional’ first season at St James’ Park, and also feels Joelinton has all the ‘physical attributes’ to succeed in the Premier League.
Considering he’s never played for the club and has no links to Tyneside, the talkSPORT pundit has a lot to say about Newcastle United.
His assessments are usually over the top and extremely negative (in typical talkSPORT fashion!), but he’s actually praised both Schar and Joelinton in his latest chat with Football Insider.
Here’s what he’s had to say about Joelinton, praising his raw physical attributes, but feeling he’s got to get into better positions if he’s to deliver the goals:
“Physically, he’s got all the attributes in terms of physicality and all those type of things. He’s just got to make sure he’s getting into the right positions and has a cool head under pressure to take those chances.
“He’s not going to be afforded as many chances as Sergio Aguero, as Raheem Sterling, as Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, as Harry Kane. Sometimes it’s even harder for those centre forwards because the chances are fewer and further between.
“He needs to get that balance of being relaxed and when he gets that opportunity, put the ball in the back of the net.”
I would tend to agree with Mills here (there’s a first for everything!).
He looks a handful, he looks mobile and he’s held the ball up very well in recent weeks, but he isn’t getting himself into goalscoring positions nearly enough. We haven’t created enough chances for him, but he has a tendency to drop deep, so finding the balance in that attacking third is going to be key.
As for Schar, it looks like his ‘calf injury’ at Liverpool may have just been cramp, but Mills believes he’s a player we could not afford to lose for any length of time:
“I think he was exceptional last season, really started to come into his own. If he’s out for any length of time he will be a big miss.
“When you miss good players, (you miss) not just their ability to be good defenders; leadership qualities, organisational qualities, all these things are what you miss more than just the actual player.”
We have several capable options at centre-back, with the likes of Lejeune, Fernandez and Clark all waiting in the wings behind Schar, Lascelles and Dummett, but the Swiss international really is a class act.
Not only is he a tough competitor and brilliant reader of the game at the back, he carries the ball out of defence expertly and creates countless attacks from deep.
Hopefully he’s fit to start against Brighton and we also see our £40m Brazilian bag his first goal at St James’ Park!