Phil Neville has heaped praise on Newcastle United defender Federico Fernandez, claiming that the 30-year-old was the “pick of the bunch” in his side’s 2-2 draw with Manchester City on Saturday.
The Magpies held the champions at St. James’ Park thanks to a late strike from Jonjo Shelvey, but it was the South American who caught the eye of the England Women’s manager.
Speaking on Match of the Day (BBC One, November 30th, 10.20pm), he said: “Fernandez I thought was the pick of the bunch really.”
This was a big display from everybody in a black and white shirt, but Fernandez was indeed immense. With two tackles, four interceptions, and a colossal 10 clearances, as per Whoscored, the Argentine was like a brick wall, and played a key part in a match that will live long in the memory on Tyneside. He may have been drafted into the side after a spate of injuries at centre-back, but both he and Ciaran Clark have consistency shown their quality since being called upon, and neither deserves to be displaced from their starting role. That will give Steve Bruce a headache when Florian Lejeune, Fabian Schar, and Jamaal Lascelles come back from injury, but there are worse problems to have, and right now, the Toon Army should just be grateful that they have such a deep pool of resources to choose from.