Schalke: We haven’t even seen the best of this defense

Ozan Kabak of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Ozan Kabak of FC Schalke 04 (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Schalke 04’s defense is the talk of the Veltins, but we haven’t even seen the best that it can be yet. But it’s not far off.

Do I gush about the Schalke 04 defense too much? I don’t think so. Because no matter what happens, no matter who is back there, this defense continues to shine as the focal point of the club. Because of their steadfastness, every single match is a distinctly possible win despite having such an inconsistent attack.

And despite having lost Salif Sane, Benjamin Stambouli, and now likely Ozan Kabak for the rest of the year. That would normally be debilitating to any team—three of our best centerbacks all gone for the year.

But you’ve got Matija Nastasic and Jean-Clair Todibo and, honestly, if that was our regular starting centerback pairing, I’d be tickled. Who wouldn’t be happy with that? It’s the perfect blend, the perfect pairing, the perfect everything. And it’s working, unsurprisingly.

There is so much more yet to see from Schalke 04’s defense

However, with the season set to return next weekend and the pause having allowed for more recovery from the injured masses, the return of the best of this defense is even closer than we think.

Even though I say “the best” of this defense with a grain of salt, because as we’ve learned, we’ve managed not to lose anything no matter who steps in on that defense.

That said, there is certainly a best possible defense—the best of the best, if you will—and I think it is obviously the never before seen combination of Salif Sane and Ozan Kabak.

Salif Sane has ranked in as the best aerial defender in the world and, under his watch, Schalke 04 shot up the Bundesliga table powered primarily by defensive solidity. When he went down, Ozan Kabak stepped in and Schalke 04 maintained their spot, for the most part, powered primarily by defensive solidity yet again. These are the best of the bunch and we’ve never seen them before. As if we needed anything more to be excited about, there you have it.

We won’t see this pairing before next season, unfortunately. But in the meantime, we can continue to marvel at how sturdy this defense is despite missing arguably our three best centerbacks.

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Though it does get a bit hard to distinguish between the centerback rankings the further we get fro the top couple. They’re all just so good and this club is blessed to be so stacked.