Schalke 04: 3 players who must step up in Omar Mascarell’s absence

Schalke 04, Suat Serdar (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
Schalke 04, Suat Serdar (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images) /
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Schalke 04, Weston McKennie
Schalke 04, Weston McKennie (Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

1. Weston McKennie

When Weston McKennie spoke to Men in Blazers about how he was adapting to the changes since resuming training, he said something that I both liked and didn’t like. He said that he wasn’t able to tackles as much as he would like, but he’s thus focusing on other aspects of his game.

Of all the midfield options we have available, McKennie is the best hope we have of directly replacing Mascarell. He plays with that same fearlessness and he’s even more willing to make a tackle (because no one in the world is more willing to make a tackle than McKennie), but his problem is control when he gets forward. It’s a part of McKennie’s nature to want to do everything and while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it gets dicey when there’s no back-up.

I could see McKennie being the guy that David Wagner turns to to be the central, deep midfielder of a midfield three. Flanking him with Serdar and Daniel Caligiuri would mean attacking push on either side of him and a need to stay at home when there’s no one else there.

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McKennie definitely has what it takes to be the guy to play the Mascarell role, it’s just going to require him to step up.