Schalke: Most improved player of the season is beyond obvious

Schalke 04, Amine Harit, Suat Serdar (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Amine Harit, Suat Serdar (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Schalke have had numerous breakouts this season, but no one compares to the top of the list, a man that has blown the lid off all estimations.

When you look at Schalke‘s season thus far, you see some incredible breakout stars. Ozan Kabak came in and he absolutely revolutionized this defense. He made it younger and more capable, and that’s even including how capable it already was. Many would think him a shoo-in for the most improved player, or the breakout star.

But you also have to consider Omar Mascarell. Mascarell had some good times at Eintracht Frankfurt, but he had trouble finding the same success at Schalke. That all changed this year, as he has ascended to the captaincy as well as being one of our most reliable performers.

There are other names going down the list that are also much improved or breakouts, but no one comes even close to the man who takes the improved cake—Suat Serdar.

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I’ll admit, last year I didn’t think much of Serdar. He was 21-years-old and looked like a rotational midfield option. Not the kind of guy who would turn heads or that was in danger of being bought out by numerous top clubs.

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He was more likely to move down to a lower-tier club in order to get more consistent playing time.

Then this year happened and Suat Serdar became a completely new midfielder. He became a borderline superstar seemingly overnight and when you look at his numbers, it’s insane just how much he has improved.

For starters, he’s our top goal scorer. This from a guy who had only ever scored four total goals in his career up to this season, where he has seven.

Defensively, he is winning the ball back more than ever before, and he’s not just a one-method guy. He is just as comfortable closing down opposing ball carriers as he is reading the passing lanes and intervening.

Turning back around to the attack, he is completing more dribbles per match this season than any other two previous seasons combined. It’s a remarkable turnaround and one that shows just how astute Schalke’s scouting is. They plucked him up from Mainz with his resume looking rather scarce. In just two years, he’s become one of our most important players.

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Now the trick is holding on to him. We can’t keep losing this caliber of player if we hope to compete with the big clubs.