Schalke: 5 things we learned from 1-1 draw with Paderborn

Schalke 04, Ahmed Kutucu (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Ahmed Kutucu (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images) /
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Schalke GK Alexander Nübel
08 February 2020, North Rhine-Westphalia, Gelsenkirchen: Football: Bundesliga, FC Schalke 04 – SC Paderborn 07, 21st matchday in the Veltins Arena. Schalke’s goalkeeper Alexander Nübel in action. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa – IMPORTANT NOTE: In accordance with the regulations of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and the DFB Deutscher Fußball-Bund, it is prohibited to exploit or have exploited in the stadium and/or from the game taken photographs in the form of sequence images and/or video-like photo series. (Photo by Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images) /

2. Alexander Nübel is still good and working hard

If Alexander Nübel weren’t in between the sticks for this game, Schalke would have probably lost to Paderborn. He made several crucial interventions, including two jaw-dropping saves. The first occurred on a snapshot to his near post, and the second was a fantastic parry of a far-post effort from the edge of the box by star striker Streli Mamba.

Nübel made a few nice plays with his distribution, making up for a few nervy moments with the ball at his feet. He put his body on the line a couple of times for the team, even though he lost the captaincy after deciding to move to Bayern.

Understandably, Nübel isn’t liked by the fans after joining a rival team for free, but he is still playing well and working hard during Markus Schubert‘s injury. That’s all anyone can ask for.

3. Jean-Clair Todibo is as advertised

Ozan Kabak exited the game with an apparent injury he suffered in the first half, and this could be a massive loss for Schalke, given the injuries at the center back position this season. Salif Sane is still out, and while Benjamin Stambouli could return soon, the Royal Blues would only have two healthy center backs if Kabak has to miss time.

The good news is that their two healthy center backs are both solid. Matija Nastasic and Jean-Clair Todibo are above-average starters, and Todibo already looks like a starting-caliber Bundesliga center back despite being a young loanee from FC Barcelona.

Todibo was impressive, recording two interceptions and four clearances, per, after joining the game in the 36th minute. He’s a player to watch closely.