Schalke: What are Amine Harit’s chances of winning POTY?

Amine Harit of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Amine Harit of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Amine Harit has been FC Schalke 04’s standout player through the first few months of the 2019-2020 campaign, but can he beat out the likes of Robert Lewandowski for the Bundesliga Player of the Year award?

Through the Bundesliga’s first 12 Matchdays, only three players have scored more goals than FC Schalke 04 attacking midfielder Amine Harit. Borussia Dortmund’s superstar Marco Reus is the only non-striker with as many goals as Harit, and it’s worth noting that Reus is the reigning Footballer of the Year in Germany after scoring 21 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions last season.

Harit isn’t on Robert Lewandowski’s goal-scoring form, but if Bayern Munich fail to win the Bundesliga this season, that opens the door for an upset in the Footballer of the Year in Germany. That’s the most prestigious award given in German football, and players in the Bundesliga and Germans in other leagues are eligible.

That means Harit would have to go up against Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos for the award, and Kroos is also in sensational form. Yet if Bayern doesn’t win the league, then the race is wide open since it’s hard to give the award to a Bayern player when the team underperforms, regardless of Lewa’s insane 16 goals through 12 Matchdays.

Harit is Schalke’s leading goal-scorer, but he does far more for the team than simply score. He is central to David Wagner’s successful tactical approach, pressing opposing defenses into mistakes that allow him to create chances from nothing. He’s scored so many clutch goals, including the winner against Augsburg and the last-gasp winner over Mainz that was October’s Goal of the Month. Furthermore, Harit was named October’s Player of the Month, beating out Lewandowski for the honor.

So far this season, the 22-year-old has been a menace to opposing defenses, drawing 3.3 fouls per game with 1.8 key passes per game and 2.3 dribbles per game, according to Those are excellent numbers that show Harit’s chance creation and playmaking impact beyond his goal scoring. He is Schalke’s muse and a prime reason why they have bounced back from the relegation zone to potential Champions League qualification under Wagner.

While Harit isn’t the sole reason for Schalke’s success – plenty of credit goes to Suat Serdar, Omar Mascarell, and an elite defense – he has been carrying the team from an attacking perspective. But as Benito Raman continues to break out and young forwards like Ahmed Kutucu and Rabbi Matondo get their chances to shine, Schalke’s attack will improve. Thus, Harit’s Footballer of the Year in Germany candidacy will be stronger, too.

Despite his ingenious passing and vision, Harit only has two assists this season due to the wastefulness of the forwards. Since Raman has come on strong lately and the likes of Matondo have shown their potential, Harit is bound to have more assists as the season goes on. And since Raman and Co. are adept at creating chances, Harit’s goal-scoring shouldn’t suffer either.

It will be an uphill battle for any player on Schalke to win this award, since goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is the only player in Die Knappen’s history to take home the honors. On top of that, only two players who aren’t on a European national team have won the award in its history, and they were Brazilian stars Grafite in 2009 and Ailton in 2004. While Harit was born and raised in France, he plays for the Morocco national team.

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Still, if Harit keeps making highlight-reel plays, scoring crucial goals, and leading Schalke to a quiet title charge, it will be hard to ignore the noise he’s making. At this point, Serge Gnabry, Timo Werner, Kroos, and Lewandowski are his only real challengers, and Harit has to be one of the top three favorites right now along with Kroos and Lewa.

That Harit is even in the discussion is huge for Schalke 04, and regardless of who ends up winning, it has been a joy to watch the 22-year-old blossom into a legitimate superstar in Gelsenkirchen.