Schalke: There’s a positive to staying put in the transfer window

Schalke's Rabbi Matondo (Photo by Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Schalke's Rabbi Matondo (Photo by Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images) /

FC Schalke 04 probably won’t be able to afford any transfers in the 2020 summer window, but there’s a positive to having continuity after a solid season.

In David Wagner’s first half-season at FC Schalke 04, Die Knappen exceeded all expectations by being legitimate title contenders. They had one of the Bundesliga’s best overall players in Amine Harit, a steely defense that didn’t miss a beat despite losing two starters to injury, and a shiny new forward in Benito Raman.

While Schalke couldn’t keep up the momentum in the Rückrunde, especially as injuries mounted, the 2019-2020 season has been a positive one for the Royal Blues. In Wagner, the club has a manager they can trust going forward, and he’s done a brilliant job of getting the most out of young players like Harit and midfield partner Suat Serdar.

There are areas of the team that need upgrades, as Die Knappen would be a much more dangerous team with a true goal-scorer up top. Michael Gregoritsch clearly won’t be the answer and will head back to FC Augsburg after an unsuccessful loan spell, while Mark Uth‘s excellence at Köln shows he’s better in a support role rather than as a main striker.

Schalke won’t be able to sign Mariano Diaz or Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik, who could be a dream target, but maybe it’s not such a bad thing that they won’t be able to shake up the squad before the 2020-2021 Bundesliga season.

No, it’s not ideal that the club’s financial situation is perilous to the point where they cannot afford to make any significant upgrades. But continuity is underrated in football. It’s one thing for a team, such as Tottenham, to be stale and ignore the glaring need for upgrades, but it’s an entirely different situation for an up-and-coming squad brimming with young talent.

With so many young players like Ozan Kabak, Markus Schubert, Weston McKennie, Harit, Raman, and Serdar playing at a high level, team chemistry is imperative for Wagner and the rest of the coaching staff. Furthermore, Schalke have other young players like Malick Thiaw, Ahmed Kutucu, and Rabbi Matondo ready to take the next step toward stardom, as those three players, in particular, have the potential to be among the Bundesliga’s best.

Making sure there is space for them is important, and by standing pat at the summer transfer window, Schalke can turn the focus to themselves. They know who the key players are, and they can spend extra time tailoring gameplans and training methodologies specific to those rising stars, in the hopes they can get even bigger 2020-2021 campaigns out of them.

The lack of incoming players also means veterans like Daniel Caligiuri and Benjamin Stambouli can get one-year extensions, serving roles in the club where they can help elevate those young stars. They can be leaned on for leadership.

One big question about extending Caligiuri. dark. Next

Finally, Schalke can spend extra time on Kutucu and Matondo, prioritizing their developments and understanding it’s time to give both talented men more responsibility. It may seem like a blow for Schalke to be unable to sign a top forward, but this situation could be a blessing in disguise over the long term.