Young FC Schalke 04 forward Ahmed Kutucu has been dealing with recurring injury issues recently, and a knock from last week’s blowout loss to Bayern Munich could keep him out of Friday’s game against Hertha Berlin.
Rabbi Matondo started last week with Benito Raman out due to an infection, but Ahmed Kutucu did make another appearance off the bench in the second half. But as hard as he tried, Kutucu could not make any sort of an impact for FC Schalke 04, as the club were simply doomed in a nightmare of a 5-0 loss to Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Schalke remain contenders in the Bundesliga, but they have dropped to sixth place behind Bayer Leverkusen after their disastrous performance on Saturday evening. This Friday, the Royal Blues will get a chance to bounce back against a mediocre Hertha Berlin side, but they may have to do so without their best striker off the bench.
According to the official Schalke Twitter account, Kutucu is a “doubt” for Friday’s game against Hertha after picking up an adductor muscle strain during his appearance against Bayern. Talk about adding injury to insult.
Raman should be back in the lineup, which means he and Michael Gregoritsch will start at the forward positions for David Wagner’s side against Hertha. That means Matondo would have the key bench role in Kutucu’s place, ensuring Schalke still have a talented and active young forward making runs on and off the ball.
Like Kutucu, Matondo is a hard worker. He also has great positional awareness at any forward spot. Unlike Kutucu, he doesn’t have the same finishing qualities or technical ability as Kutucu, who has looked significantly better with the ball at his feet. Schalke should still be able to get the job done without Kutucu, but it’s always tough to see such a talented young player dealing with an injury.
Hopefully Kutucu is doing OK and recovers well. But even if he does shake off the injury, Wagner and the Royal Blues would probably rather play it safe than sorry with their young star, as they did in December when injuries hit the Turkey international.