Schalke: Suat Serdar and 5 other players who need new contracts

Schalke 04, Amine Harit, Suat Serdar (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Amine Harit, Suat Serdar (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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Schalke CB Matija Nastasic
(Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

4. Matija Nastasic

This man right here is beyond a doubt one of the most underrated defenders in all of Europe. And his current status at Schalke isn’t necessarily helping that, at no fault of his own or the club’s.

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At the start of the season, he was hurt and stuck behind Salif Sane and Benjamin Stambouli. When they both went down with injuries, he stepped in to partner with Ozan Kabak, who hogged the spotlight with his teenage stardom.

Nastasic got hurt, Jean-Clair Todibo stepped in and all of a sudden Todibo and Kabak are clogging the hype pipeline and Nastasic is still “that guy” who fills in with near-perfect defensive precision with very little acclaim.

Know this—if we lose Nastasic, we will feel it, and it won’t feel good. He is not the kind of person you think about needing to replace until you don’t replace him. Then you start wondering what’s changed.

Nastasic is just 27 and, like Mascarell, could be counted on into his 30s. With just two years left on his contract, we stand to lose him in his prime, and that’s never a good idea.

Next stop, the big man.