Schalke, Ajax to compete for Belgian goalkeeper?

Hendrik van Crombrugge of Anderlecht (Photo by Matteo Cogliati/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Hendrik van Crombrugge of Anderlecht (Photo by Matteo Cogliati/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

FC Schalke 04 have their eyes on a new starting goalkeeper for the 2020-2021 season despite having Markus Schubert and Ralf Fährmann on the books.

Alexander Nübel will depart FC Schalke 04 for Bayern Munich this summer on a free transfer, and while FC Schalke 04 could easily turn to Markus Schubert, who is their current No. 1 option, it seems like they want to sign another goalkeeper.

Schalke have already been linked to Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who enjoyed a successful 2019-2020 season on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf.

The issue with Steffen is that the Royal Blues would likely have to sign him on loan as well, and, ideally, they’d want to have a young goalkeeper on board for the longer term. Of course, by the time Steffen’s loan ends, Schubert would be a great starting keeper, so that may also play into their decision.

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However, it seems like the Royal Blues have their eyes on someone who may already be a great starting keeper.

According to a report from Het Laate Niewus, via Sport1, Die Knappen have submitted an inquiry to RSC Anderlecht for star keeper Hendrik van Crombrugge.

This isn’t the first time Schalke have been linked to the Belgian goalkeeper, as they were rumored to have interest in the rising star during the winter transfer window.

Van Crombrugge joined Anderlecht this season from Eupen and immediately established himself as a star player in Belgium’s top flight.

Only former Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet had more clean sheets than van Crombrugge’s 12, and the 26-year-old keeper had the second-highest clean sheet percentage in the league.

This is despite playing for a team that finished eighth and suffered more defeats than the team’s of the other goalkeepers with at least 10 clean sheets.

So van Crombrugge has the quality to start in goal for a team like Schalke, though fans should be quick to point out that the same can be said for Fährmann and Schubert. Therefore, it’s interesting to see that Schalke are so intent on loading up at the goalkeeper position. There’s nothing wrong with having quality options, and van Crombrugge surely looks like one.

The issue is he may not come cheap. Anderlecht have the player signed through 2023, and they won’t want to lose such an important goalkeeper. Additionally, Ajax are reportedly interested in van Crombrugge, and they have enough resources to compete with Schalke.

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Per Transfermarkt, van Crombrugge is valued at six million euros. I could see Anderlecht trying to squeeze 10 million euros or more, which would put the player’s price at a level similar to Steffen. And in that case, it wouldn’t be worth it for Die Knappen.