FC Schalke 04 put in another gritty defensive performance at home in the Revierderby, but it came at a cost. Benjamin Stambouli has suffered a significant foot injury.
Benjamin Stambouli and Salif Sane have been a rock at the heart of FC Schalke 04’s defense this season. The Royal Blues have allowed just nine goals in the Bundesliga this season, meaning that Wolfsburg are the only team in the league with a better defensive record than Schalke.
In Saturday’s Revierderby, the club’s defensive prowess was once again at the forefront. Sane put in a man of the match-quality display, while Stambouli was equally composed as the other center back. The duo completely erased Mario Gotze, quieted Marco Reus, and forced Jadon Sancho into a frustrating afternoon. Quieting Dortmund’s vaunted attack is not easy at all, but Schalke were able to own their opponents.
Schalke kept a clean sheet, drawing with Dortmund 0-0. But they suffered a loss on the injury front, as Stambouli could miss weeks to months with a foot injury.
Schalke Daily relays that Stambouli could even be out until 2020 due to a broken bone in his foot, though that depends on how his recovery progresses.
Stambouli’s injury is a tough blow for the Royal Blues, because the converted midfielder has stepped up as a leader and key starter in the side. He has blossomed at center back this season, holding off other talented players like Matija Nastasic and Ozan Kabak.
But because Schalke have two other very talented center backs, they could be even stronger once Stambouli returns from this injury.
Kabak is a highly-regarded young player with real world-class potential, having caught the eye of clubs like AC Milan and Arsenal before ultimately deciding on a move to Gelsenkirchen.
Meanwhile, Nastasic has been quite good whenever Schalke have played him, including this season. He was once regarded as one of the top prospects at the position in European football.