Newcastle United headed into the new season with manager Rafael Benitez not completely satisfied with the club’s work in the transfer window.
Nevertheless, The Magpies were still able to bring in some decent signings including central defender Fabian Schar.
As well as Newcastle, Leicester City also approached the transfer window with the intention of reinforcing their defence and did so after bringing in Jonny Evans from relegated West Brom.
Similar in style, both Evans and Schar could prove to be shrewd acquisitions for their respective clubs, but how do the two compare?
Prior to joining Leicester, Evans had been linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City (via Sky Sports), a rumour many people guffawed at.
The 30-year-old has been playing his football at a West Brom side who would go on to see relegation after being deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester United.
But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure with Evans being a player Pep Guardiola saw much value in.
At the back, Evans is comfortable on the ball — a requirement of a Guardiola central defender — and, overall, was defensively solid enough to be at least a cover option at the Etihad.
A move, of course, did not materialise and the Northern Ireland international now finds himself playing his football at the King Power instead.
In this moment of time, Wes Morgan looks to be Harry Maguire’s central defensive buddy at the back.
However, Evans certainly has the ability to leapfrog the Leicester captain into the starting XI and become Maguire’s partner going forward.
TT Grade: B-
As previously mentioned, both Evans and Schar are similar in style with the 26-year-old telling the St. James’ Park faithful upon his arrival that they can expect to see him bringing the ball out of defence as often as possible.
Speaking to Newcastle’s official club website, Schar said: “I’m not like a typical defender. I of course defend, but I’m quite good with the ball, I like to play. I want to build up the game from behind and I think that is a strength of mine.”
Unfortunately for Schar, however, he has not had many opportunities to display the above having made only one Premier League appearance so far.
But given his ability and the experience he has picked up in La Liga, the Bundesliga and the Champions League, he may be the ideal partner for Newcastle skipper Jamaal Lascelles.
TT Grade: C+
Other than Morgan and Maguire, Leicester did not really have any other solid centre-back options going into the new season. With that in mind, the 2016 Premier League champions did well to bring in a defender of Evans’ quality.
As for Newcastle, while it was clear Benitez was discontent with the club’s overall transfer window during the summer, Schar has shown in recent years that he is a centre-half who has plenty to offer.
It is close, but Evans’ Premier League experience gives him the upper hand in this battle of the ball-playing defenders.
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