FC Schalke 04: Sebastian Rudy will permanently move back to Hoffenheim

SINSHEIM, GERMANY - DECEMBER 20: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Sebastian Rudy of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund at PreZero-Arena on December 20, 2019 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
SINSHEIM, GERMANY - DECEMBER 20: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Sebastian Rudy of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund at PreZero-Arena on December 20, 2019 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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FC Schalke 04 purchased Sebastian Rudy before the 2018-2019 season in the hopes that he could be a key part of the club’s midfield, but it’s become increasingly clear that his place is at Hoffenheim.

Last season, Domenico Tedesco snagged two stars from TSG Hoffenheim after completely retooling a squad that finished second in the Bundesliga. The results were disastrous for FC Schalke 04, as neither Sebastian Rudy nor Mark Uth proved to be difference-makers.

Uth could be loaned to FC Köln this winter, pending his health, but Rudy has already been loaned out to Hoffenheim for the 2019-2020 season.

Thus far, Rudy has looked solid for Hoffenheim. The center midfielder has been one of the club’s top performing players in 2019-2020, tying Florian Grillitsch with three assists for the second-most assists on the team. Per WhoScored.com, Rudy, who has a healthy 1.5 key passes per game, is second on the team behind underrated defender Stefan Posch with 2.9 tackles per game.

Kicker reports, via Schalke Daily, that Hoffenheim will activate the option to buy from their loan agreement with the Royal Blues. The cost? A mere six million euros. Per Kicker, the deal only needs to be “formalized”, as it’s clear Rudy’s place is in Hoffenheim.

For Schalke, this is good news. A fee of six million euros isn’t much, but it helps. Rudy never hit the ground running in Gelsenkirchen, but he’s always played at his best for Hoffenheim. Meanwhile, Schalke have three even better players in their midfield, as Amine Harit, Omar Mascarell, and Suat Serdar have been among the Bundesliga’s best players this season as true breakout stars under new manager David Wagner.

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Schalke will also mull over the sale of defensive midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, who has quality but was never treated fairly by the organization. Beyond that, injuries have hurt Bentaleb’s status, and he is on the periphery in the squad due to the better players in front of him. Like Rudy, Bentaleb is best off leaving the club to a better fit for him, and, hopefully, he can find the same success that Rudy’s had in 2019-2020.