Schalke 04 has never been a heavy spender, but a lot can be learned about how they invest their money. Here are their 20 most expensive transfers ever.
Schalke 04 generally don’t do well with investing money in players. While they are and will forever be one of the best at churning bright young talent out of their historic Knappenschmiede, when they find themselves needing to fill gaps that their youth can’t, they don’t always do the best.
Part of that just comes down to mismanagement, and not having funds available to them thanks in part to letting too many players run out their contracts and leave for free. But part of it also comes down to not investing in the right kinds of players and thus, when the time comes to sell, losing out on what they put in.
Whatever the case, Schalke still has a tremendous reputation as one of the top clubs in all of Europe and they boast some legendary, unforgettable talents in their storied history. Given the contrast between their overall legacy and their misfortune in spending money, it will always make looking at their top 20 most expensive signings rather interesting.
Schalke 04’s 20 most expensive transfers in club history
Perhaps unsurprisingly, you won’t find many of their most notable players on this list. Rather, you will find far more players who haven’t fared quite so well, if they ever faired at all.
And so, without further ado, let’s start the list at an inspiring name, even if he exhibits one of Schalke’s biggest issues.
20. Christian Poulsen—$7.7m
While many people on this list, unfortunately, did not end up doing much for Schalke, Christian Poulsen definitely did. The Dane brought the fear factor to the Royal Blue midfield with intense and fearless tackling, an unstoppable work ethic and impressive technique to boot. He wasn’t just a loose cannon.
Tasked with filling the spot left by Schalke legend Jiri Nemec, Poulsen did a pretty stellar job across his four years at the club, including leading the team to a DFL-Ligapokal title in 2005. Poulsen is exactly the kind of midfield that has come to frequent that Schalke midfield, most comparable now to Omar Mascarell and, to a certain extent, Weston McKennie as well.
No doubt Poulsen could have gone one to higher heights with Schalke, who he spent the highest number of appearances with in his career, if not for him running into a similar situation with Die Knappen—his contract ran up and he walked for free 2006.
Next up, another positive signing at No. 19.