Schalke 04: Who wants to be the next Benedikt Howedes?

Schalke, Benedikt Howedes (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Schalke, Benedikt Howedes (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /

Schalke 04 has a significant problem with player longevity, so what will it take to get another Benedikt Howede up in here?

After Weston McKennie came out and talked about how the next step in his career was England, I got a bit down on myself, wondering what it would take to get a lifelong Schalke 04 man again. Sports are weird. Nobody stays in one place forever anymore. They always go somewhere else. It’s a bummer.

Back in the day, you could have one guy stay at one club for his whole career and that would be that. He’d be the ultimate club servant, no questions asked. That just doesn’t happen anymore.

But some people still come close. I mean, look at Benedikt Howedes. This guy came to Schalke when he was 13 and didn’t leave until he was 30. He captained the U19s to a championship and went on to captain the senior side for six years. This was a Schalke man, even if he eventually moved on. 17 years at the club.

When will Schalke 04 see another Benedikt Howedes?

I get that not everyone has that luxury. I don’t question Omar Mascarell‘s dedication to the club even though he’s only been here two years. I don’t question Weston McKennie’s just because he said that England is his next goal. Maybe that next goal is like Howedes’—15 years away. Who knows.

What I do know is that Schalke have had a lot of trouble keeping hold of their players. They either get too good and get sold off, or they don’t quite cut it and they get sold down. There’s rarely any getting good and staying around.

Maybe becoming the long-term captain.

Maybe leading the club to a Bundesliga title.

Every club needs that guy(s) who can be counted on to be the representative of the club. The spine, the backbone, whatever you want to call it. Since Howedes left, we haven’t had anyone rise to the occasion. Though we have some interesting prospects.

McKennie still could. Suat Serdar could. Amine Harit, Ozan Kabak, these are all guys that have the potential to be something truly great with the club. Maybe they haven’t been here as long as Howedes was, but like I said, we don’t all have the same luxuries. Maybe Nassim Boujellab or Levent Mercan or Malick Thiaw are our best hopes.

All I know is your hopes of retaining some semblance of consistency as a club go up exponentially when you have some consistency in the personnel you employ. And in the spirit those players exude. You can’t keep a rotating carousel of players and expect to be at the top. Even money bags Bayern Munich maintains a core group of guys.

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Schalke needs to do the same if they want to be the same. Let’s get another Howedes up in here. Maybe two. Or three. Or seven.