As if Schalke 04 didn’t have enough issues as is, now they have to deal with Amine Hari’s new injury. But there’s an opportunity here.
Schalke 04 had enough troubles as is. They struggled with defensive reliability, with midfield presence, with safe hands at the back and, most of all, they struggled with the attack, with creating chances, and now they have to struggle even more in that final category without Amine Harit, the one guy who looked like the solution to it.
But just because it feels like beating a dead horse (honestly, at this point, defiling a dead horse is more like it), doesn’t mean that it’s all bad. I mean, sure, we’d all prefer to have Harit healthy. But not that he isn’t, let’s focus on the opportunity that’s hidden here.
David Wagner has to find solutions to this attacking problem. Part of that problem was relying too heavily on Amine Harit. It had been a problem all year long. When things went well, it’s because Harit was firing. When they didn’t, it’s because Harit wasn’t.
Amine Harit injury presents opportunity for Schalke
Now though, there’s no option to fall back on the same old ways of putting it all on Harit. While I’m sure most people are sick of hearing about learning experiences, you can never have enough of them, that much is for sure.
At some point Schalke does have to learn how to exist without Harit, mostly for when Harit is there and, God forbid, struggles. When that happens, there have to be alternatives available, and unfortunately, there haven’t been any for a while now.
But there are the makings of solutions. You see names like Nassim Boujellab and Levent Mercan featuring more and more, and this may be a chance to see more of them and, potentially, see them rise to the role of solution.
Then you have Rabbi Matondo, too. One of the most hyped players in Gelsenkirchen. These three alone rank as serious options to see increased time and, in the process, prove themselves.
Harit leads the team in chances created with 1.8. Only Daniel Caligiuri and Bastian Oczipka re close at 1.6 and 1.5, respectively. No one else is over one chance created per match. That’s not a good place to be.
Thankfully, that place is going to be amended with a bit more exposure from the other goal-threats that we just haven’t seen enough of. Oh, and Ahmed Kutucu too, of course.