Schalke: Ahmed Kutucu somehow still an untapped resource

Ahmed Kutucu of Schalke (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Ahmed Kutucu of Schalke (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Schalke has tried just about everything as far as their strikers are concerned, but one massive resource remains untapped—Ahmed Kutucu.

It’s been quite the season for Schalke from a learning perspective. They have seen breakout performances from a handful of budding stars and they have had scattered disappointments as well, but the one position that has disappointed the most is at striker.

Despite experimenting with Mark Uth, Guido Burgstaller, Benito Raman, Rabbi Matondo and Michael Gregoritsch, they have not been able to find the magic combination to make this attack work to the point of being reliable.

And yet, despite any of this, the most remarkable stat of this entire season is that Ahmed Kutucu, one of the best young strikers around, has yet to start a Bundesliga fixture and has only started one DFB-Pokal Cup fixture.

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The young Turk has made 17 appearances in the German top flight, not a single one as a starter. It’s amounted to 349 minutes which, with three goals and one assist, makes him our most efficient goal producer when judged by goals and assists per minute.

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It’s crazy that of all the combinations David Wagner has tried, he has never saw fit to give Kutucu a spin. Kutucu, who could be the central striker we are crying out for, but we just wouldn’t know. Because it’s incredibly hard to deduce if a youngster is ready to an elevated role if you never give him a chance to prove it.

All of his numbers are abbreviated by disuse. Sure, it looks like he’s going to be secure with the ball, it looks like he’s going to be a good source of goals, it looks like he could have a good touch, but all we can really know for sure is that he is fast, determined, and yes, has a tendency to score goals.

But this has all been rather negatively tilted, hasn’t it? This doesn’t just mean that Kutucu hasn’t had an opportunity to prove himself this year, it also means that Kutucu is still, somehow, an untapped resource that we can look forward to seeing more of next year, if not even sooner.

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Maybe this was planned. Maybe Wagner wanted to clear out all of his other options before turning to Kutucu. It would be odd, but hey, Wagner is a smart dude, I’ll trust him. As long as Kutucu gets his chance, we’ll have nothing to complain about.