Schalke: If not Jean-Claire Todibo, definitely Malick Thiaw

Malick Thiaw of Schalke (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Malick Thiaw of Schalke (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Schalke may be priced out of making Jean-Clair Todibo permanent, but that’s alright because Malick Thiaw is on deck and he’s loosening up.

Schalke were all gung-ho to make Jean-Clair Todibo a permanent denizen of the Veltins, but according to recent reports, Barcelona may not be looking to sell for any less than £25m. Which is a lot of money to pay when Die Knappen probably aren’t looking to start him.

Ozan Kabak and Salif Sane are starters. This season has guaranteed that. But Matija Nastasic is too, and he’s going to be playing the third wheel. It’s Todibo that’s the odd man out right now, the least proven, and it’s a lot to spend on a guy to play fourth centerback.

That’s not to say it can’t be done. Of course it can. Here are four guys that should all be starting and they’re all competing against each other, and that’s a good place to be when all are qualified to be in the starting job.

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But if Todibo can’t be secured, if he costs too much for what we need him for, then it’s a matter of getting the next in line. And that is Malick Thiaw.

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Just in time, too. Because the sharks are swooping for Malick Thiaw, and if he doesn’t start moving up the ranks soon, he’s going to start dreaming of Anfield, or Italy, or the copious amounts of other clubs that are going to be swirling for him, knowing how talented he is.

Thiaw can step into that vacated Todibo role for free. And if he doesn’t compete right away, it’s not a dead-end, nor is it detrimental to the state of the club. After all, it’s highly unlikely that those kinds of injuries mount the way they did again. And if they did, well then we find out just how good and ready Thiaw is.

But something tells me we’re going to find that out soon enough anyway.

At the end of the day, Todibo was only brought in because we were defensively starved. We needed the help and Todibo was that help. The fact that he could also be extended if need be, and if the price was right, was just an added benefit that didn’t necessarily need to be capitalized on.

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I want to keep Todibo. I love the way he plays the game and in the long-run, that can give us a defensive core that is as deep as it is strong.