Newcastle United are blessed with some top talent in their squad, but how many of their players have what it takes to start for the historical top six?
Elite teams in England have multiple superstars who can regularly influence the outcome of a game with their individual brilliance. Newcastle United do not have such players, but the Magpies are known for being a blue collar team that depends on collective urgency and commitment in every position to earn positive results.
Of all the players who are currently on permanent contracts at Newcastle United, there are four players who could be starters for any top team in England. Well, maybe we should rule out Liverpool. That team is home to a rare breed of football talent.
Martin Dubravka’s performances between the sticks for Newcastle United since January of 2018 have attracted the interest of teams like Juventus and PSG. Fortunately, he is happy at St. James’ Park and penned a new six-year deal with the club.
The Slovakian shot stopper has made the most saves this season, 117, and has also claimed the third-most clean sheets. Dubravka has 24 clean sheets to his name in 79 league appearances with the Toon. Dubravka is, hands down, one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League.
Along with Martin Dubravka, Fabian Schar is one of the best players brought in during the Rafa Benitez era. The Swiss international is the best defender in the squad. When healthy, Schar has been untouchable in the lineup, and the only way others get minutes is when he picks up a knock, which has been the case this season.
Schar is a confrontational defender who challenges opposing players once the ball is at their feet, he is an aerial threat, he is capable of playing as a defensive midfielder, and he can score multiple goals each season.
Tottenham and Arsenal expressed interest in Schar last season, and he would definitely enjoy regular minutes on either team in North London. In fact, Schar has sufficient talent to be a starter for Manchester City, especially after the high number of defensive mistakes their back-line has made this season.
Federico Fernandez recently turned 31, but he plays like an elite defender in his prime. The former Napoli man is Newcastle United’s most disciplined defender, and his ability to read the game is among the best in the Premier League. The former Argentine international is not a flashy player, but he quietly gets the job done in the back.
Fernandez is the type of defender who always seems to make timely tackles, blocks dangerous shots, intercepts key passes, brings the ball forward with composure, and he can score from set pieces. Unlike Dubravka and Schar who could be regular starters for some of England’s top clubs, Fernandez is capable of starting for an elite side, but his lack of athleticism will hinder his chances of starting most games in a season.
Allan Saint-Maximin is the most dynamic player at Newcastle United, and he is one of the most exciting wingers in the Premier League. The Frenchman has battled a few hamstring injuries this season, but when healthy he has caused major problems for every team this term.
Saint-Maximin is a technically gifted playmaker who creates quality chances out of nothing. His ability to orchestrate attacks from out wide can only be matched by Miguel Almiron on this squad. The 23-year-old winger has the potential to become a star in this league, and it is no surprise that Wolverhampton are already eyeing him as a potential replacement for Adama Traore if he leaves this summer.
Saint-Maximin has the skills, mentality and work rate to start for top six clubs, but the only flaw in his game is his lack of offensive production in terms of goals and assists. This season, Saint-Maximin only has two goals and one assist to his name. The odds of him scoring and assisting more would be much higher on a team that constantly attacks and creates chances, though.