Schalke: 3 players who may not start in 2020-2021

Benjamin Stambouli of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images)
Benjamin Stambouli of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images) /

The 2019-2020 Bundesliga season is tentatively scheduled to resume in May, but it’s never too early to start looking at what the future holds for FC Schalke 04.

Although FC Schalke 04 aren’t expected to be active in the summer transfer market due to their current financial situation, there could still be some turnover in the starting XI due to both sales and up-and-coming players.

Several young talents enjoyed breakout seasons this past season on the Royal Blues. Amine Harit and Suat Serdar were among the Bundesliga’s best midfielders, Ozan Kabak was a revelation at center back, and FC Barcelona loanee Jean-Clair Todibo was equally resplendent in defense.

In 2020-2021, more veteran players will make way for the rising stars. Here are three players who were starters at one point last season but may not be in the lineup next season due to either a transfer or a better young option rising through the ranks.

CB Benjamin Stambouli

There’s reason to believe Schalke will make an attempt to re-sign Benjamin Stambouli after all, because Jean-Clair Todibo could head back to Barcelona if La Blaugrana don’t extend his loan stay in Gelsenkirchen. Given how effective Todibo was for the Royal Blues, there’s a chance Barça want him back and see him as a player who can help them in 2020-2021.

As for Stambouli, he suffered a serious foot injury during the Revierderby but was one of the Bundesliga’s best defenders beforehand. He led the team with 3.4 tackles per game, according to, and also added 1.3 interceptions per game.

That said, even if Schalke keep Stambouli around for at least one more year, there’s no guarantee he starts. Todibo could return, but even if he doesn’t, it looks like Ozan Kabak has replaced Stambouli as the ideal starter alongside veteran leader Salif Sane.

RM Daniel Caligiuri

A right wing back in 2018-2019 and one of the team’s best players in that dismal campaign, Daniel Caligiuri showed signs of decline in 2019-2020 in a more advanced attacking role. His lack of pace on the right-hand side was staggering and contributed to the Royal Blues’ lack of width.

Caligiuri, like Stambouli, is on an expiring contract and coming off a significant injury. Yet the Royal Blues also seem willing to bring him back, because, again, it’s unlikely they’ll have any better options available.

Depending on how David Wagner proceeds, Caligiuri could see a reduced role in the starting XI. He’s still valuable due to his set pieces and technical quality, as he can create chances with a killer pass. But if the Royal Blues go narrow, he’s not a better option in midfield than Weston McKennie. And if Wagner wants to use true wingers, Ahmed Kutucu would be a much better attacking option on the right side than Caligiuri.

RB Jonjoe Kenny

Schalke need to do whatever they can to extend Jonjoe Kenny’s loan from Everton, because while Timo Becker isn’t a bad defensive option, there’s a massive drop-off in quality between the two players. Kenny was the team’s leader in passes into the final third last season, per, and he fits the Royal Blues’ identity perfectly as a hard-working and scrappy right back.

But Everton could easily demand a high transfer fee for Kenny, even with Djibril Sidibe‘s breakout season on loan with the Toffees potentially benefiting Schalke. Kenny is highly valuable to Everton as a 23-year-old, two-way right back who is an England international.

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Last season, only left back Bastian Oczipka played more minutes for Schalke in the Bundesliga than Kenny, so losing him would be a tough blow. But with another loan year not guaranteed, Die Knappen must prepare to potentially lose the right back.