Newcastle United defender Fabian Schar has been awarded the 2019 Player of the Year by the North East Football Writers’ Association.
The Switzerland international has been recognised for his excellent form last year for the Magpies, with Sean Longstaff winning Young Player.
Schar, a £3 million arrival from Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna (BBC Sport), wowed supporters in 2018/19 with his solidity at the back, but also his unusual knack for striding forward and becoming a goal threat.
The 52-cap international made 28 appearances in total, and played a key role in helping Newcastle stay up, especially with the team struggling to score goals.
So far in the current season, Schar has made 21 appearances – but the 28-year-old has been unable to reach the level he showed last season.
He’s had some injury problems which haven’t helped his cause, but Newcastle are struggling at the moment and really need him to rediscover his best form.
TBR’s view – Schar form will be vital for Newcastle
Schar being awarded by the NEFWA will only remind fans of how good he was last season, and that Schar is desperately needed right now at Newcastle.
The club are sliding back towards the relegation zone having won just won game in their last nine.
Newcastle are heavily reliant on their defence to keep goals out but in recent weeks, mainly in Schar’s absence, Steve Bruce’s side have been leaky.
Schar getting back to his best is simply paramount for the club if they don’t want an uncomfortable end to the season again.