Steve Bruce has been singing the praises of our Argentinian warrior Fede Fernandez, and let’s be honest, why wouldn’t he?
The 30-year-old, who had previously played under Rafa Benitez at Napoli, was a deadline day signing from Swansea in the summer of 2018, for an absolute bargain price of £6m. The purpose was to provide cover after Florian Lejeune was expected to miss the whole of last season following his ACL injury.
He’s ended up being one of the best signings our insane football club has made in years, and Bruce has this week revealed that he’s “first in and last to leave” training each day, “always working hard in the gym” and a “top-class pro”.
Here’s what he’s had to say when speaking about him and fellow defensive warrior Ciaran Clark:
“Feddy’s a top-class pro. He’s in first, he’s the last to leave, and he’s always in the gym working hard. He defends well.
“Since Clark has come into the team, I’ve thought he’s been excellent,”
“Just before he got injured, he was performing very well.
“They’re both naturally good defenders, which is what you want your centre-backs to be.
“Everybody seems to be ball-playing centre-backs now. It’s nice to see two good centre-backs doing what they’re doing.”
Of course, it being Newcastle United, there’s a potential dark cloud looming in the sense that the capped Argentinian is out of contract this summer. Despite his brilliant performances and obvious quality, he isn’t guaranteed to be offered an extension due to his age and the club’s policy of only wanting to sign players with resale value.
It’s been reported by The Chronicle there is actually a clause in his contract to extend his stay should that be the will of both parties. We can only hope and pray that the club do the right thing and make a good footballing decision and not a poor financial one. I mean, they may baulk at giving a 31 year old a new contract but, if we were to lose him in the summer it would realistically cost at least £15-20m to replace him in today’s market. We had a similar situation last summer with Mo Diame, who was keen to stay and exercise the clause, but the club would only offer a one year deal when the player wanted two.
Ashley’s model is to sign players under 26, develop them and sell them on, yet, if you look at our better signings in recent years you’re looking at Fernandez, Clark, Schar, Dubravka, Ritchie and Rondon.
It’s almost like there’s logic in having experience in your squad!