Benito Raman had a mixed bag start against Augsburg, but FC Schalke should call it rust and give him another start as soon as possible.
Benito Raman staked a claim to the starting striker job when he scored a quick brace for FC Schalke against Arminia in the DFB-Pokal Cup. It was such a convincing job that David Wagner gave Raman the nod, benched Guido Burgstaller, shoved aside Alessandro Schopf and started him again against Augsburg.
Not everyone was convinced by Raman’s input. I was.
Let me clarify—by no means would I call his input game-changing, but I saw all the pieces in his play that I want to see from someone in an FC Schalke attack that has… struggled at times this season to create consistent goals.
Raman is a proven goal scorer. He scored ten goals in each of his last two season. That’s why FC Schalke brought him in. I’m not worried about that part of his game. It’s the rest we needed to see, and we saw glimpses of it in his return to the first choice XI.
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For starters, that speed is still to die for. There isn’t a lot of speed on the Schalke attack. Neither striker is blessed with it, Amine Harit is serviceable, but it’s not his forte. Really it’s just Rabbi Matondo and a dollop from Schopf that’s fleet of foot. But Raman takes the cake in that department and it ruffled Augsburg’s feathers more than once.
Not just that, but Raman did tie for the team lead in chances created. Which is no small feat when you are playing next to Amine Harit and get subbed off in the 74th minutes. The initiative was there from Raman, but the precision wasn’t.
He played some wayward passes. He was a bit heavy-footed with his touches. That’s all to be expected from someone who’s been out of the picture for a month or two. But I said before the match that Raman can be the piece that ties the attack together and I still believe that.
Even on his raw tools alone—his blazing speed and finishing ability—we have a player with two unique skills that no other player on the club can conclusively say they have.
So whatever it takes to get Raman back out there, do it. Just call the rough spots a byproduct of rustiness and start him again. It’ll be well worth it.