FC Schalke 04 have a decision to make with Alexander Nubel, who will sign with Bayern Munich upon the conclusion of the 2019-2020 campaign.
It’s a familiar sight for FC Schalke 04 fans. Young star helps the Royal Blues climb into Champions League contention then decides to sign a free transfer with Bayern Munich. Leon Goretzka did it two years ago, and, now, Alexander Nubel has decided to play second fiddle to Manuel Neuer after being Schalke’s star and team captain in 2019-2020.
While it is imperative that fans don’t turn against Nubel for making a decision he has every right to make, the organization, likewise, has to make the best decision for itself.
With another talented young keeper in Markus Schubert and plenty of other leaders in the squad, the Royal Blues have to seriously consider benching Nubel and removing him as captain. He’s decided to leave the club after the season, and neither party owes each other a thing. Therefore, Schalke don’t have to help develop a 23-year-old keeper who is now headed to Bayern.
Who should Schalke replace Nubel with as captain? There are a few candidates. Center back Benjamin Stambouli (currently injured), left back Bastian Oczipka (he started every game in the Hinrunde), and versatile veteran Daniel Caligiuri are all great options.
However, David Wagner should look no further than Omar Mascarell as his captain. The defensive midfielder is the man who makes everything tick for the Royal Blues with his solid passing, keen awareness in the middle of the park, and excellent defense.
One of the best holding midfielders in Europe this season, Mascarell makes all those around him that much better. Per WhoScored.com, Mascarell has completed 84.5% of his passes this season, which is the most of any non-center back on the team.
Furthermore, the Spain international has been immense defensively, averaging 1.9 tackles per game and a team-high 2.6 interceptions per game. His expert reading of the game stops danger before it can develop, and Mascarell can help begin counterattacks by feeding the ball to primary ball-progressors Amine Harit and Suat Serdar.
Mascarell does so much dirty work in the midfield for Schalke that it’s easy for fans outside the Bundesliga to overlook him. However, he’s been one of the breakout players of the year and has led by example. Mascarell has been a major key to the club’s rebound in 2019-2020.
It’s no surprise, then, that Mascarell is reportedly the leading candidate to be the captain in Nubel’s place. He is respected by all, and his style of play epitomizes the club Schalke want to be going forward. Hard-working, intelligent, and full of quality.
Mascarell has been the captain in Nubel’s place while he serves a suspension for his awful challenge on Mijat Gacinovic a few weeks ago, and Wagner needs to make sure Mascarell is the permanent captain in the Ruckrunde.