Schalke: Jean-Clair Todibo troubles could be blessing in disguise

Jean-Clair Todibo of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Jean-Clair Todibo of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Schalke don’t want to lose Jean-Clair Todibo, but if they have to lose him, let’s look at the blessing that it could create on the sly.

Something really remarkable happened/is happening with the Schalke defense this year. While the defense has always been a strong suit of this club, this year has been a step above what we’re used to because the true depth of the club has become evident and it’s nothing short of glorious.

Even when things got dicey with personnel dropping like flies, Die Knappen went out and got Jean-Clair Todibo on loan. Lo and behold, and at no great surprise, he was an instant hit. This is a club that just knows what they want and need on defense and it never fails to succeed.

Todibo became the second defensive breakout of the year, following closely in the footsteps of Ozan Kabak, who had broken out just a few months prior. It’s just a special time for this defense, to see how present and future is well manned.

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But rumor has it that Jean-Clair Todibo might be too expensive for Schalke to keep permanently. With a price tag around £25m, there would have to be some serious debate it that is a fee worth paying.

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Not because Todibo isn’t worth it—he is—but because between Salif Sane and Ozan Kabak and Matija Nastasic, we have three starting centerbacks. Our fourth centerback doesn’t necessarily need to drain the transfer coffers, even if he’s as good as Todibo is.

Instead, it might be a blessing in disguise to replace Todibo’s breakout with the potential breakout of another young star—Malick Thiaw.

Thiaw might well be seeking a premature exit from Gelsenkirchen if his path is any more blocked than it already is. Adding Todibo would certainly qualify as path blocking, and we need to keep that in mind. If we buy Todibo, we’ve got four starting centerbacks. The fifth in that long line of talent is not likely to see a lot of action unless the team veers towards a three-back set.

To Thiaw, he might as well go somewhere where he’s closer to starting than at Schalke, which is remarkably far away. But if we lose Todibo, being the fourth centerback is an excellent place to be. Just ask Ozan Kabak.

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It’s not ideal to lose Todibo, not after what we’ve seen. But in the name of finding the silver lining, it could save Malick Thiaw.