The Newcastle United summer signing had a great start to the season but fell out of the first-choice lineup.
Last summer, Newcastle United signed Federico Fernandez from relegated Swansea City. The central defender was a key signing early on before battling some injuries and sliding down the depth chart. Should he be in the starting lineup next season or is he only a rotational defender? We take a look back at his debut season with the Toon.
2018-19 Premier League stats: 19 appearances, 102 clearances, one assist, 75% tackle success
I knew Federico Fernandez would bring some meaningful experience to Newcastle United’s back-line when he was signed last summer, but I did not know how well he would fit in with the team. It only took the Argentine defender a few weeks to impress me with his skills and I think it is fair to say that Fernandez was the smartest defender on the pitch when he played. Fabian Schar became untouchable once he broke into the rotation, but I was surprised to see Jamaal Lascelles maintain his role as a regular starter ahead of Fernandez.
Simply carrying the title “captain” means nothing if you do not act as a leader. Fernandez did not make any major errors, he made decisive tackles, cleared the ball quickly and directed his teammates when the back-line was under pressure. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I would like to see Fernandez start alongside Schar next season.
2019-20 NUFC outlook: Surefire starter
Carson A. Merk
Early on in the season, Federico Fernandez looked like a massive signing. He was constantly tracking back and making sliding tackles, or controlling possession with calm passing on the back line. Then, he battled injuries and the emergence of Fabian Schar and the return of Florian Lejeune. He struggled to find his way back into Rafa Benitez’s first-choice squad.
For Fernandez, I think he will be a decent rotational player and potentially a starter until Lejeune gets back from another knee injury. He is a quality player and does his job well, but I don’t see him beating out captain Jamaal Lascelles, budding star Fabian Schar, and a healthy Lejeune.
2019-20 NUFC outlook: Quality rotational player