Schalke: Amine Harit needs to be a trendsetter, not an anomaly

Amine Harit of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Amine Harit of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Schalke has their eyes set on returning to the top of the Bundesliga pile, but in order to do that, Amine Harit has to be a regular thing, not an anomaly.

Schalke‘s contractual situation has been a talking point for too many years now, but recently, they’ve made some positive signs towards ending the free transfers once and for all. Of course, it started with Weston McKennie, but no one ever believed he was going to leave, so we needed someone else to fire the big flare.

That came when Amine Harit locked into a new, long-term deal at the Veltins Arena. Up until that point, Die Knappen was notoriously incapable of keeping their star players. Harit was really the first internationally acclaimed talent to stay put in quite some time.

But the key here is not letting Harit be an anomaly, but rather a trendsetter. Reports have recently surfaced that Suat Serdar is going to be the recipient of a new long-term transfer option, which would be yet another huge step forward.

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Of course, the key is getting him to sign it, not just look at it. This is what big clubs do. They keep their best players. They sell on their own terms, not on a player’s terms.

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When Harit signed, I was pretty confident that we’d turned a corner. It’s just another thing to blame Alexander Nubel for. Just weeks after Amine Harit defied the odds and extended his stay at Schalke, Nubel did the opposite and took the allure of the Allianz to heart. Nubel rejected the opportunity to stay in Gelsenkirchen long-term and thus the magic of Harit’s extension was dulled a bit.

I wouldn’t say it was completely canceled out, because keeping Harit was a huge deal and, unfortunately, we’re kind of used to losing star players, so Nubel’s didn’t hurt as bad as Harit’s helped.

But this has to become a trend and, on the bright side, Schalke looks determined to make it exactly that by approaching Serdar to make the same decision that Harit made. Harit extending had to resonate within the locker room. These other stars and budding stars had to see that as a sign that this club is serious about sticking at the top, not just visiting every so often.

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The ball is in Serdar’s court now. Nubel left it in disgrace, but Serdar can pick it up and get this trend back going right where it left off.