Schalke: Jean-Clair Todibo’s exit perfectly timed, just like his entrance

Jean-Clair Todibo of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Jean-Clair Todibo of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Schalke will have a tough time keeping hold of Jean-Clair Todibo, but if he does leave, it will be at the perfect time. Just like his entrance.

Schalke‘s defense has been a gold mine this year, as it is seemingly every year. From Naldo to Salif Sane, they always turn up gems where others tend to overlook, and this year, it has been in the name of the future as well. With the emergence of Ozan Kabak and the loan of Jean-Clair Todibo. youth has been the name of the defensive game.

For Todibo, he couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Injuries had stricken the Blues defense, knocking out Sane and Benjamin Stambouli for the year. Matija Nastasic was struggling with niggling injuries and even Kabak went down after a while.

All fell on Todibo, who had arrived just in time to take the mantle and prove that he was exactly like the rest of the Schalke defense—perfectly capable and remarkably exciting. You have to wonder if he’d even have been brought in without the injury crisis.

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Whatever the case, he was, and it was perfect. My colleague here at Release The Knappen has even dubbed Todibo the most important player of 2020.

But now the club faces another issue—keeping him.

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Naturally, after the impact he made, Schalke is intent on making the loan move permanent, but in typical Barcelona fashion, they are looking for a gob of money—in the £25m range—to part ways with Todibo. That’s a hard figure to justify for Die Knappen, seeing as how they essentially already have four centerbacks capable of starting. Assuming Stambouli gets an extension.

If Todibo does go back to Barca in the coming transfer window (whenever that may be), the good news is that he will be leaving just as he came—at the perfect time.

Ozan Kabak will be back healthy, and he’s one of the best young defenders in the world. So it’s not like we’ll be left wanting for first-team relevant youngsters with all the talent in the world. Kabak has it in bulk.

But then there’s also Malikc Thiaw, who the club could also be struggling to keep hold of. With Thiaw in desperate need of a new contract, Todibo’s exit could be the opportunity he needs. And if Stambouli walks as well, that means that Thiaw would become the fourth centerback, which—ask Ozan Kabak—is a great place to be.

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Maybe Todibo will only ever have a few months under his belt in Gelsenkirchen. Those few months could not have fit any better.