Schalke fans need something to be optimistic about after being eviscerated again, and renewed faith in Nick Taitague might do the trick.
Schalke have now succumbed to two 5-0 losses this year. Both at the hands of clubs they hope to be competing against. It’s a hard blow to stomach, and it’s hard to justify why this club should be in the Champions League if they can’t even put up a fight against Champions League caliber clubs, but amidst all the pessimism, here comes some good news—there’s till faith in Nick Taitague, and he’s signed a new deal through 2023.
Sure, I’m a biased American who wants to see American’s succeed overseas, but having now seen Weston McKennie and countless others do just that, the possibility of another is enough to make me smile.
The problem with Taitague has been his inability to stay healthy. If you don’t play, you don’t improve, even for someone who shot up the youth ranks as quickly as this young man did.
I can’t put it much better than Schalke’s Head of Sport Jochen Schneider put it though, so let’s just have that for a second:
"Nick joined the club as a huge talent, but has been unlucky with injuries over the past few years. He’s now got another chance to establish himself in professional football. We believe in Nick and are glad to give him this chance.More from Release The KnappenSchalke 04: Arkadiusz Milik would take everything, but he’s worth itSchalke 04: Ozan Kabak makes Jean-Claire Todibo pass quietlySchalke 04: Omar Mascarell the only boost between now and thenSchalke 04: David Wagner just has to make it to the end of the seasonSchalke 04: At least we still have Weston McKennie"
Taitague has made all kinds of breakthroughs at the youth level, but injuries have gotten in the way of his progression to the senior team. Now 21-years-old, we would love to see some bonafide product out of him to justify the investment, but sometimes you just can’t have that, and what you get instead is a statement of faith.
For lack of a better resource, hearing Schneider speak so freely about how much faith they still have in Taitague is refreshing. The fact that this team is struggling significantly on the offensive side of things may have something to do with it, but whatever the case, if everyone at the club still believes in the young American, than so do I and you should too. It’s not called being gullible, it’s called being optimistic.
Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but given Schalke’s history of letting players go for free, and given how Taitague was often referred to as the best America has to offer, it’s pretty easy to make a case that this is a big deal.
Who knows when we might see him at the senior level, but you don’t offer a contract extension to a guy that you have no intentions of getting there. So there’s something to look forward to after all.