Schalke: Amine Harit is the player to watch in 2020

Amine Harit of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Amine Harit of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Amine Harit was FC Schalke 04’s best player in the 2019-2020 Hinrunde and was responsible for the team’s flirtation with the title race.

Although FC Schalke 04 likely won’t finish the 2019-2020 Bundesliga season in a Champions League qualification spot, the Royal Blues deserve praise for turning things around immediately in David Wagner’s first year.

One year earlier, Schalke were relegation candidates and the league’s laughingstock, showing a level of offensive ineptitude rarely seen from a club with their financial resources.

But Schalke played exciting football in the 2019-2020 season before a myriad of injuries derailed their season. Players like Benito Raman, Suat Serdar, Ozan Kabak, and Omar Mascarell emerged as some of the Bundesliga’s best players, but nobody had a breakout season quite like Amine Harit.

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In 2017-2018, Harit was the Bundesliga’s Rookie of the Year, with his crowning match being a generational performance in one of European football’s biggest derbies. Harit shined in Schalke’s historic 4-4 comeback against Borussia Dortmund.

Although Harit couldn’t build on that success in 2018-2019 and was never given a fair shot despite flashing obvious talent, he burst onto the scene in 2019-2020.

Before a system change and injuries to Serdar and others hurt Harit’s ability to impact the team in the Rückrunde, Harit was one of the Bundesliga’s absolute top players.

He scored 6 goals with 4 assists, making him the clear leader in goal contributions on the team.

Moreover, Harit was the playmaker and only real creative influence in the final third.

He was the one tirelessly pressing, taking defenders on, and looking to find the killer pass. When Raman returned from an injury in the Fall and started scoring goals, it was Harit who showed the best connection with the new signing at striker.

While Harit fell out of the starting lineup by the end of the season due to a forced system change resulting from the squad-wide injuries, his performances in the Hinrunde earned him a hefty contract extension.

Harit has all the big clubs watching him. Liverpool, FC Barcelona, you name it. They all know the name “Amine Harit”. They know he is one of the most electrifying dribblers and uniquely gifted players in world football, just as executives around the Bundesliga are well-aware of the threat he carries to their teams.

Schalke have a number of superstars worth watching closely whenever the 2020-2021 season hits. Markus Schubert, Ahmed Kutucu, Rabbi Matondo, and Kabak are just a handful of wonderful young players who can be stars in this league.

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But Harit? He’s already a star. He is the man to watch in 2020, because Schalke’s Europa League hopes and hopes at Champions League qualification rest on the shoulders of their true attacking superstar.