Schalke: Suat Serdar breakthrough a fluke, or the new standard?

Schalke 04, Suat Serdar (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Suat Serdar (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Suat Serda has established himself as Schalke’s biggest threat to goal, but is this season simply a fluke or can he be counted on for this output?

Up until this season, Suat Serdar was something of an optimistically untapped resource for Schalke. He was a youngster, clearly a bit of a late bloomer, but through rotational appearances, he’d showcased enough to be counted on to play a role at the club.

This year, things changed. With 6255 minutes played going back through Schalke, Mainz and Germany U21, Serdar has amassed all of 11 goals. This year alone he has seven of those. But at 22-years-old, it’s quite possible this threat was just slumbering, waiting to be awoken.

The question is, is this kind of statistical output what can be expected of Serdar going forward, or is this all a fluke, with his usual season topping out at maybe a handful of goal contributions?

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The first thing we have to look at is minutes played. Comparatively speaking, Serdar has not even played that much this year. He’s 600ish minutes behind out most-used players, and yet he still has more goals than anyone else on the team.

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Last season, with 1700 minutes to his name, he put together two goals and an assist. This year, with just shy of 1500 minutes—seven goals.

For those worried that it’s just a fluke, let’s look at some other key statistics that prove that Serdar has actually just tapped into his natural gold mine, and we can be expected this kind of thing in the future.

Defensively, Serdar is performing better than any season by a good margin. He’s averaging 4.0 defensive actions per match. The next closest throughout his entire career is 3.2 back in 2017/18 with Mainz.

Another key factor is his willingness to go at defenses himself. Also known as dribbling. This has been such a sparkling benefit to having Serdar on the team and it’s reflective in the numbers as well. Previously, the most successful dribbles we’d ever seen out of Serdar was 1.4 last year.

This year? 2.7. He’s brimming with confidence and it’s allowing him to settle into who he truly is as a player. And again, being so young, it’s completely reasonable to think that he’s just now figuring out who he is as a player.

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So yeah, this isn’t a fluke. Serdar isn’t just scoring more, he’s performing better across the board. Superior effort breeds superior results.