Schalke: Does Juan Miranda have a place in the club’s future?

Juan Miranda of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Juan Miranda of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

FC Schalke 04 left back Juan Miranda was signed from FC Barcelona on loan, but he’s had an uneventful time in Gelsenkirchen thus far.

When FC Barcelona loaned promising young fullback Juan Miranda to FC Schalke 04 before the 2019-2020 season, they were expecting him to receive at least some playing time in a role with veteran starter Bastian Oczipka.

Instead, Miranda barely played, featuring in only 265 Bundesliga minutes with two starts and two bench appearances before the 2019-2020 season was postponed. His only real glimpse on the pitch occurred after injuries to Matija Nastasic, Benjamin Stambouli, and Salif Sane in the Hinrunde when Oczipka was forced to play center back.

To be fair, Oczipka was excellent, creating chances with his accurate crosses and providing his customary disciplined defense on the left side of Schalke’s formation. Oczipka led the team with 2,250 minutes played in the Bundesliga, which was nearly 200 more minutes than fellow fullback Jonjoe Kenny in second.

Still, Barcelona were extremely disappointed to see how little playing time Miranda received, and it got to the point where there were rumors that La Blaugrana would terminate the left back’s loan during the winter transfer window.

Instead, Miranda stayed despite no promises of more playing time, and Barcelona actually loaned Schalke an even better young player in center back Jean-Clair Todibo. And thankfully for all parties, Todibo has been excellent and given real playing time.

As for Miranda, his future remains unclear. According to a report from Sport, Miranda will have to return to La Liga at the end of the season, since he did not play enough games to lead to an automatic extension of his current deal. He only made about a handful of appearances for Schalke, whereas he would have needed 20 games to have another year in the Bundesliga.

Honestly, with how well Oczipka was playing at left back, that was never going to happen. Sport says Miranda would be willing to play for Barcelona B in order to get regular playing time, so it seems like his time at Schalke has left him jaded. But he was never given any guarantees at playing time. Plus, it’s not like he was remotely a better option than Oczipka.

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Miranda essentially has no future in Gelsenkirchen. He isn’t interested in them, Schalke have no real use for him after extending Oczipka, and Barcelona would much rather have their young left back obtaining experience than sitting on the bench in Germany’s top flight. The Royal Blues will do whatever they can to get one more year out of Todibo and Kenny, but they’ll be fine with letting Miranda return to his parent club.