FC Schalke: David Wagner just knows how to make a new guy work

David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

FC Schalke have made thunderous debuts three times this year, and they have one yet to go. Is David Wagner a genius or what?

Debuts are difficult things. It’s not easy to maximize new signings, and it’s even more difficult to place the team structure around them and figure out how best they fit into the flow of things. But FC Schalke have had three thunderous arrivals this year, and all three have been damn near perfect.

It started earlier in the year, when Benito Raman was finally given free reign as a striker. Just like that—boom—we had our go-to striker, capable of changing games in one move. He completely changed the look of this attack, giving over the top options and possessing such gumption in front of goal.

Raman continues to thrive. He provided a sparkling assist in the return from winter break, and all things considered, he should be considered a downright blessing this year.

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Then it was Ozan Kabak. With Benjamin Stambouli and Salif Sane going down for the year, Kabak was thrown into the fray.

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Not only did he thrive defensively, but he notched two massive goals and an assist and proved himself arguably our best defender. At just 19-years-old, we knew he was good, but he completely changed the outlook of a battered defense. And he did it all immediately, just like Benito Raman on the other end.

Now, Michael Gregoritsch has done the same. He’s been here just two weeks, but in his first match with the club, he was a shoo-in for man of the match, as he assisted the all-important first goal, scored the clutch second goal, and even saved a goal with a superb clearance off the line. He lead the team in created chances, shots taken, and aerials won as well as showcasing composure over the ball that dreams were made of.

89 minutes of pure excellence. In his first 89 minutes with the club. Make that three for three in terms of David Wagner getting new guys to gel essentially immediately.

And just think, we still have one guy who has yet to debut—Jean-Clair Todibo. It’s unclear when he will get his shot, but if the trend here proves accurate, we have every reason to believe that he will re-re-change the outlook of this defense. Not that we even need him to.

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David Wagner is a man with a plan, who knows how to get stuff done with very little time wasted. This is all tremendous.