Ahmed Kutucu showcased a dose of delectable heroism against Freiburg, and it’s only natural to wonder when FC Schalke might see more of that heroism.
FC Schalke‘s striker situation has been a point of discussion for several years now, with the club investing seemingly all of its hope in Guido Burgstaller and Mark Uth. While the former had (and will still likely have) his moments of usefulness, the latter never settled, and answers were needed.
In response, Schalke went for Benito Raman, who has since proven himself to be exactly what was needed. But underneath it all was the promotion of Ahmed Kutucu. In his first year at Schalke, he made 13 appearances, though just three were starts. In all, it meant 420 minutes of play with two goals in that time.
This year, in what I find to be then most remarkable stat of the entire season, Kutucu has made ten appearances but not started a single Bundesliga match yet. All in all he’s got 176 minutes under his belt, which is a paltry number.
Still, in that time, he’s scored two goals and added an assist. And, for what it’s worth, the clamor for him to start has been in a gradual crescendo for some time.
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The thing about Kutucu is that as of last year, he had so many things that neither Burgi nor Uth had. He had speed. And not just blind speed either. He had targeted, purposeful speed and he had control. For a young striker to be that sure-footed is something special, that that’s exactly what Ahmed Kutucu is.
But this year, we’ve really been seeing more of it. Despite his international teammate Ozan Kabak stealing the show, Kutucu’s potential has been overflowing for months now, and we saw a microcosm of it all against Freiburg, when his first-time shot sliced through Freiburg’s defense to level the match and give Schalke the dose of heroism they sorely needed.
We see so little of Kutucu that it’s easy to lose track of what he can do for us, but even when he doesn’t score, the threat is there for him to. As is always the case, threat so often translates to goals when more time is given. It really is that simple more times than not.
It’s been said countless times, and I hope it doesn’t need to be said any more countless times, but we are past due getting Kutucu into the starting XI. He showed a tremendous ability to link up with Benito Raman already. Now let’s see it grow.