Schalke: Hopefully Amine Harit dominates when football returns

Amine Harit of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Ralf Teerse/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Amine Harit of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by Ralf Teerse/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Amine Harit had to take a backseat for FC Schalke 04 after injuries forced a system change, but it’s undeniable that the Royal Blues are at their best when he’s in the lineup.

The month of September was a magical one for FC Schalke 04. They defeated SC Paderborn 07 5-1 to start the month, earned a last-gasp win over Mainz 05 thanks to the goal of the season from Amine Harit, and closed the action with an incredible 3-1 trouncing of one of Europe’s best teams in RB Leipzig.

Harit earned Player of the Month honors as the superstar pushing Schalke to victory after victory. He was impossible to stop in all three of those games, and his outside-the-boot, game-winning goal against Mainz will be replayed on highlights reels for years to come.

While the Morocco international finished the year 2019 on a strong note with more game-winning goals and assists and more ridiculous solo dribbles into the penalty area, Harit took a backseat in the Rückrunde.

In fact, Harit ended up getting benched and only made a substitute appearance in a 1-1 draw with TSG Hoffenheim in the Royal Blues’ final game of the 2019-2020 Bundesliga season before the stoppage occurred.

Although the move to the bench didn’t 100 percent have to do with his play, Harit did earn criticism for failing to influence the game against Mainz 05. The second time he faced the team he scored a winning wondergoal against, Harit, per, was dispossessed four times and had four “bad touches”. He had four dribbles completed but uncharacteristically posted no key passes nor fouls drawn.

It was a poor game for Harit, and it occurred after back-to-back games with four key passes but similar examples of him losing control. Clearly, Schalke’s most dynamic player was being tasked with doing too much, and it showed on the field and on the stat sheet.

When the Bundesliga returns, Die Knappen can only hope that Harit’s form does, too. They need to do what they can to help him, because they need him to operate at his best. When Harit slumps or isn’t supported tactically, Schalke are a mid-table side at best. The Rückrunde results have been damning.

But when Harit is playing to his potential, taking defenders on, and creating and scoring chances, the Royal Blues are legitimate title contenders.

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No single player is more important to the team’s success than Harit, because while it’s arguable that Ozan Kabak and Suat Serdar are better overall due to their consistency, Harit is the difference-maker in the attack. Without him, everyone else suffers, but, by the same token, without everyone else placed in a position to succeed, Harit’s own effectiveness is diminished.