Schalke 04 will need to make a decision soon regarding the future of Alessandro Schop, but as of right now, he still has the thrill of the unknown.
For years now, Schalke 04 has had a bit of a live wire in Alessandro Schopf. Every time he steps out onto the pitch, it’s like rolling the dice. You never know what you’re going to get. But that, in and of itself, is an attractive quality for a club that is often searching for creativity and excitement.
Schopf has both of those things, just not always when you need them or in the quantities that you order.
It’s hard to get a beat on the Austrian. He plays the game exactly the way Schalke needs it played. He’s creative, quick-footed, dribbles well, and always has an eye for goal. That is exactly what Die Knappen need most right now, and it’s what they’ve been turning to youth to try to find while Schopf has been left plugging holes in an injury-battered midfield.
Schalke can do better than Alessandro Schopf, but they can also do a lot worse
Ever since the 2016/17 season when Schopf truly tantalized, it’s been a task of getting him back there. Seven goals, two assists, a career-defying over five defensive actions per match, and over 2000 consistent minutes played.
That was what Schopf was brought in to do and he was doing it.
We’re now several years down the road, not to mention a couple of managers down the road too, and Schopf is now 26. He’s past the point in his career where inconsistency was cute, and could be forgotten for a few flashes of razzle-dazzle. And with just a year left on his current contract, this is the moment when Schalke needs to decide what comes next.
As for me, I will never be opposed to see Schopf take the pitch, either starting or subbing and in whatever position. I like him at wingback, I like him at central midfield. But that’s mostly because of two things.
- He is all effort.
- You just never know.
I mean really, it’s so exciting to have a player capable of anything when not a whole lot is riding on him. The fact that Schopf is so peripheral means that he has the liberty to play this open, free style that he’s come to typify. It’s not as nice when Amine Harit does it, but for Schopf? Sure, why not.
He wouldn’t be expensive to keep around and unless one of these younger options can step up—which maybe they can—why not keep him around, for curiosity’s sake?