Newcastle United defender reveals Eddie Howe's brilliant message to him

Fabian Schar’s Newcastle United career looked to be coming to an end early last season.

The defender hadn’t played for more than two months when Eddie Howe succeeded Steve Bruce last November. However, Schar was recalled to the starting XI for Howe’s first game in charge – and he was a fixture for the rest of the season.

The 30-year-old was well known to Howe, having been a target for United’s head coach during his time at Bournemouth.

At the time, Schar opted against a move to the club, which was then in the Championship, though he was impressed with what Howe had had to say in their calls.

“We had a few phone calls at that time,” Schar told the club’s matchday programme. “It was really a possibility for me. They were still in the Championship then, the year before they went up I think.

“At that time, I wasn’t sure whether to go into the second league. But I knew him, and the way he plays. I knew it was something that suited me, so, at that moment, it was very important to go somewhere which I think is best for me.

“Obviously, I made another decision then, but not because of him – because I had another chance to play in a top league. But when he came (to Newcastle), I had a good feeling about it.”

Schar had been in the final year of his contract, and the Switzerland international was seemingly heading for a summer exit.

Fabian Schar signed a new contract at Newcastle United late last season.

However, Howe persuaded Schar that his future lay at Newcastle, and he signed a new two-year contract.

“This, for me, is the most important thing,” said Schar, signed by Rafa Benitez in the summer of 2018 from Deportivo La Coruna.

“He even said to me before the first game that he knows what sort of player I am – and that he knows me.

“I felt really comfortable from day one. The way we play, and I think the way we will try to play in the next few years suits me perfectly. I'll try to be the player I am with a manager who knows me and gives me confidence.”

Schar was an unused substitute for Switzerland’s Nations League win over Portugal on Sunday after returning form a suspension.