1. Malick Thiaw
I don’t think there’s such a thing as banking too much on Malick Thiaw. His presence on the club, and hopefully growing presence when we return to action, has multiple purposes to serve. On the one hand, Schalke needs defensive bodies. Badly. As it stands, they only have Matija Nastasic and Jean-Clair Todibo. Both of whom are quality, but they are, alas, only two people.
Thiaw is next in line, and he needs to be ready to accept that role because as we have seen, injury happen and, unfortunately, defensive collapses happen too. Thiaw has the highest monetary value of any of our young players for a reason, right?
Not just that, but Thiaw needs to get his chance at regular minutes anyway if we’re going to talk him into staying at the club. That’s where the two-part benefit to him playing more comes in—we need it, and he needs it. And the third part, we need it to stay together.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Thiaw marched out there as a third centerback in a back three, or starting to garner regular playing time. David Wagner wants to know what the next step is with this young man.