Schalke: 5 biggest takeaways from the 2019-2020 season so far

David Wagner of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
David Wagner of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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Schalke CAM Suat Serdar
Suat Serdar of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

4. The attack isn’t there yet

Schalke have two promising teenagers at the forward positions in Rabbi Matondo and Ahmed Kutucu, with the latter producing moments of magic and leading the. team in dribbles completed per 90 minutes, according to Those two players, especially Kutucu, need trust and playing time from Wagner, but Die Knappen still need one more piece in the attack.

The Royal Blues have the prospects, they have a hard-working striker in Benito Raman who has the athletic tools to shine, and they have one of Europe’s most talented attacking midfielders in Amine Harit.

However, Schalke are still searching for the final piece to the puzzle; they need someone with a consistent end product who can latch onto Harit’s through balls and open space for Raman, Kutucu, and Matondo.

Mark Uth couldn’t get on the right foot in the Hinrunde but has since blossomed at FC Köln, albeit in an attacking midfield role. Schalke signed Michael Gregoritsch from Augsburg at the winter transfer window on a loan deal, hoping the former highly-regarded prospect could explode to stardom with borderline world-class talent like Serdar and Harit around him.

Instead, Gregoritsch struggled after a dream debut against Gladbach, and the Royal Blues are back to square one. Filling this need will be their biggest challenge going forward.

5. But the midfield is

Although David Wagner and the Royal Blues decision-makers will have to do some tinkering at the forward position, they have quite clearly found a winning formula in the center of the park.

Captain Omar Mascarell has become one of Europe’s best No. 6’s and can even excel as part of a back three. Few read the game as well as Mascarell, whose calm passing keeps everything ticking. Next to him, Suat Serdar is the definition of an all-action, box-to-box midfielder who scores goals, snaps into tackles, and takes defenders on with aplomb.

In front of them is Amine Harit, who is one of the league’s most dangerous players. When he’s on his game, it is impossible to take the ball off the skillful Harit, who seems to see the game ten steps ahead of everyone else mentally, but sometimes that extends to his own teammates in the attack. Harit also has plenty of quality in front of goal.

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The Royal Blues have another fantastic young midfielder in Weston McKennie, who became the team’s most important player after Serdar’s injury and a system change that forced Harit to the bench. McKennie can literally do it all, but he seems to be best as a box-to-box midfielder. Like Mascarell, McKennie is brilliant at reading the game in front of him, and, like Serdar, he is effective bombing forward. McKennie represents the best of all worlds in center midfield.