FC Schalke debuted Michael Gregoritsch, and it was 89 minutes of what dreams are made of. It’s hard to believe just what he’s done.
FC Schalke wasted zero time bringing Michael Gregoritsch in for the year. January 1st came, we nabbed him, he played in a friendly, scored a goal 18 minutes in. Then he commented that he felt like he’d been here for much longer than just a few weeks. All signs pointed to something special.
But you’d have to be the biggest dreamer in the world to predict how Michael Gregoritsch would spent his 89-minute debut for his new club. It’s a debut that, even on WhoScored.com, landed him a 9.8 rating. Just in case you were unclear, that’s out of ten.
Having the versatility to play in the midfield or further forward, David Wagner decided to funnel the Austrian’s strengths into play a secondary striker next to Benito Raman. Yet again, Wagner could not have been any more right.
Let’s look at the numbers. Because for once, the numbers really do tell all the story.
Michael Gregoritsch led the team in just about everything. Shots? Led the team. Created chances? Led the team. Aerials won? Tied for the team lead. Dribbles completed? Tied for second on the team.
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And the best part, and something that I always have an eye on, he only lost possession once. Same as Benito Raman. Michael Gregoritsch capped it off with a fantastic opening assist to spur Suat Serdar to goal. He scored a perfectly taken goal in the second half when Benito Raman unselfishly gave up his chance to give his teammate an even better chance. He had a clearance off the line to deny Monchengladbach a goal in the first half.
He literally did everything. Goal, assist, clearance off the line, four chances, seven aerials won, five shots, two dribbles. This dude was everywhere and everything. He gave the defense a backboard to fire longballs to. He showed wonderful composure on the ball to link up play without the accompanying risk of losing possession.
It was, in every sense, the kind of debut that dreams are made of, and nothing less.
If, for whatever reason, you were not already excited about Gregoritsch’s arrival, you should be now. In one match, he’s convinced me that we are much closer to competing for the title than I had already though. All through the power of one man.