FC Schalke 04 forward Ahmed Kutucu only played 349 minutes in the Bundesliga last season, but he still managed to score three goals with an assist.
Several young players enjoyed breakout seasons for FC Schalke 04 under David Wagner in 2019-2020. Ozan Kabak became one of the best center backs in the Bundesliga, Suat Serdar went from “promising” to “amazing”, and Amine Harit was legitimately one of the biggest difference-makers in the entire league.
For Die Knappen, the even better news is that there are several more young players who could become stars in the 2020-2021 season. Ahmed Kutucu is most prominent among them.
The 20-year-old forward never started a game in 2019-2020 but made 17 appearances off the bench for a total of 349 Bundesliga minutes. He made the absolute most of those minutes, too, scoring three goals with an assist to lead the team with 1.03 goals and assists per 90 minutes. Incoming transfer Benito Raman was second with 0.46 goals and assist per 90, which is less than half as efficient as Kutucu.
Those raw efficiency numbers should jump off the page, because they would have made Kutucu the sixth-most efficient player in the Bundesliga in terms of goals and assists per 90. And yes, he would have been ahead of big names like Marco Reus, Philippe Coutinho, and Thorgan Hazard.
Kutucu is clinical, capable of creating chances for others, and downright dynamic on the ball. According to WhoScored.com, Kutucu led the team with 3.4 successful dribbles per 90 minutes– more than even Serdar and Harit. The young forward could stand to become more efficient in his take-ons – he was the only player with more than two unsuccessful dribbles per 90 – but the initiative and overall production are enticing.
Furthermore, on the topic of initiative, Kutucu had the most shots per 90 minutes from open play, and only Michael Gregoritsch averaged more shots on target per 90 minutes than the Turkish international. So in addition to creating havoc on the ball with his dribbling, Kutucu was always hungry for goals, which suggests his three goals in 349 minutes was no fluke.
So you can only imagine how good Kutucu could be if given regular playing time, which is why so many Schalke fans are screaming for the 20-year-old to be a starter. He’s been better than every other forward on the Royal Blues in 2019-2020, including Gregoritsch and Raman, who are notable names in their own right.
But there’s something special about Kutucu. Based on the underlying numbers which show excellent production translated to a full 90 minutes, the young attacker is well on his way to become a star in the Bundesliga.