There was little fanfare when Newcastle United completed the deadline day signing of defender Federico Fernandez this summer, but since then the Argentine continues to impress the Magpies supporters.
Another player who seems to have been helped significantly by manager Rafa Benitez - who he played under at Napoli - Fernandez has found impressive form and composure as part of Newcastle's defence.
It has come at a perfect time for Newcastle too, since having lost Florian Lejeune to long-term injury in pre-season the Magpies had been without a ball-playing defender prior to the arrival of Fernandez.
Fernandez has been one of Newcastle's best performers so far this season, in a campaign where the Tyneside club have struggled to create chances but have looked relatively solid at the back.
Federico Fernandez outstanding again.— Alex (@AlexMcGuire98) September 22, 2018
Against Crystal Palace, Fernandez was on top form again.
Although the Argentine only won two aerial duels during the 0-0 draw, he made three tackles, four interceptions and a remarkable 11 clearances.
Federico Fernandez is absolutely unreal, didn’t put a foot wrong all game, has looked brilliant since we signed him, what a bargain.— Adam. (@AdamNUFC_) September 22, 2018
That was always his role in the team, like it was with Lejeune. Fernandez is there more to intercept and break down play, as well as being able to then recycle it and play it out from the back.
Aerial duels and the physical battles fall more on his defensive partner, typically club captain Jamaal Lascelles.
When the signing of Fernandez for a reported £6m fee was announced before the season began, it was met with doubt and questioning from many Newcastle fans. Now, it seems, nobody would trade him in for the world.
Beast of a defender— Empèror Corleonê (@EmperorArtist) September 22, 2018
Once again, constrained by extremely tight budgets, Benitez has pulled off a transfer coup.
Remember when everyone was slating him when we signed him! The rafa effect— Josh Butler (@JayBee150889) September 22, 2018
In Fernandez, the Magpies might just have found a real bargain signing that can help keep them in the Premier League.