Schalke: Here is the biggest takeaway of the season so far

David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
David Wagner, Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

FC Schalke 04 sit in sixth place in the Bundesliga this season, but what is the biggest takeaway from 2019-2020 thus far?

Although the Royal Blues’ 2019-2020 Bundesliga campaign was a tale of two halves, FC Schalke 04 are a considerably better team than they were last year at this time. New manager David Wagner has unearthed a superstar midfield trio, the defense is as strong as ever, and youngsters like Ahmed Kutucu and Rabbi Matondo have the potential to be stars in the league.

So far Schalke fans, the biggest takeaway from the 2019-2020 should be this: the Royal Blues are very much on the rise.

As disappointing as many of the Rückrunde results have been – and losing 5-0 to Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig is certainly heartbreak – there’s so much more to be positive about. Specifically, when it comes to the team’s young nucleus.

Goalkeeper Markus Schubert is only 21 and is already on a trajectory to being one of the league’s best keepers. Even if the Royal Blues can’t hold onto Jonjoe Kenny and Jean-Clair Todibo for another year on loan, they have the Bundesliga’s best young center back – and it’s really not even close – in the all-around brilliant Ozan Kabak.

But the Royal Blues’ midfield is where things truly look special. Suat Serdar and Amine Harit are both under the age of 24 and were among the league’s best players in 2019-2020 when the team wasn’t ravaged by injuries. Weston McKennie is somehow only 21 despite all his experience and his high football IQ, and it’s only a matter of time before he posts an Omar Mascarell-like breakout season in the Schalke midfield.

Attacking-wise, Die Knappen still have some questions to answer, but Ahmed Kutucu has all the tools to be a superstar in this league; he just needs more trust and playing time. On a per 90 minute basis, the production is there. Likewise, Rabbi Matondo is even younger at 19 to Kutucu’s 20, and while he wasn’t as productive, he also can be a special player.

That gives Schalke seven players under the age of 24 who have the ability to be among the best players in the entire league. These seven players aren’t going anywhere any time soon, as Schalke have Suat Serdar, Amine Harit, and Ozan Kabak – the three most important players – either locked in or close to locked in to long-term contracts.

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Schalke showed fight in 2019-2020 under Wagner, and they have the right core of young players. As those players make strides in 2020-2021, the Royal Blues could return to being one of the big powers in German football.