According to the statistics, no player outside the league’s “big 6” has made more blocks and clearances per game than Federico Fernandez
This comes from brilliant Twitter page ‘The Other 14“, which shares several statistics revolving around all the clubs outside of Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham.
As shown below, when it comes to blocks and clearances, no player in the Premier League contributes more regularly in this area, with the Argentinian averaging over 8 per 90 minutes:
Interestingly, he’s not the only Newcastle defender who’s ranked highly, with Ciaran Clark ranked in 5th (averages 7.44 blocks and clearances per game) and Jamaal Lascelles coming in at 11th (6.58 blocks and clearances per 90).
I can’t remember the last time we had such strength in depth at centre-back, but what’s so impressive about the likes of Fernandez and Clark is the fact they were ranked at 5th and 6th choice not so long ago by Bruce.
The Argentine was struggling to even make his match day squads earlier in the season while Clark has regularly been that squad player who only starts if one of Lejeune or Dummett got injured.
Now, I’d argue Fernandez and Clark are two of our most reliable defenders and probably our top performing centre-backs this season – something these stats back up.
They may not be out and out ball players like Schar and Lejeune, but they’ve barely put a foot wrong this season and rarely let us down defensively.
To think Fernandez will leave on a free this summer as things stand. Let’s hope he the new deal he well and truly deserves!