Schalke 04: If no one else, it has to be Nassim Boujellab
Schalke 04 has some serious issues and David Wagner isn’t inspiring faith that he can fix them. But if we’re looking for help, why not Nassim Boujellab?
I’m doing my best to keep the faith in David Wagner, but one thing that continues to elude my grasp on his logic is why he won’t turn to Schalke 04’s youth rather than a bunch of temporary players who are on their way out the door.
Against Werder Bremen alone, Wagner chose six starters who would not be with the club next year. That’s over half of the starting XI. Meanwhile, guys like Ahmed Kutucu, Levent Mercan, and Nassim Boujellab were left trying to pick up the pieces.
It’s obvious that Wagner, for whatever reason, does not trust Ahmed Kutucu to start. Okay, fine. And it’s obvious he isn’t too high on Levent Mercan either. Okay, fine. If nothing else, if there are no other young players worth starting, then it has to be Nassim Boujellab.
Schalke 04 can’t hide from Nassim Boujellab now
I had assumed, with the injuries to Omar Mascarell, Amine Harit, and Suat Serdar, that we would see at least one of the young midfielders get a shot at being a solution, but Wagner tapdanced out of that too.
Now, with McKennie suspended for the next match, he has to do something, and that something has to be Nassim Boujellab.
Like every other sub against Bremen, Boujalleb was so much more inspired than over half the starting XI. He was fired up, he was frustrated, he was bulldozing his was through white shirts trying to make something happen.
It’s a side of Boujellab we don’t get to see very often, if ever. Coming on for McKennie, he was entrusted with keeping up the energy and enthusiasm of his American counterpart and, guess what? He did it. So if anyone had any doubts about his ability to fight, put those doubts aside (looking at you, David Wagner).
We already knew that Boujellab could create. Hell, he created the second-most chances on the team against Bremen and he played for 35 minutes. Clearly this is a guy that Wagner trusts and is willing to invest in. Plus, he has started in the Bundesliga before.
Which is all I need to know. If we have nothing else to look forward to, at least Nassim Boujellab should—should—be given the chance to step up next weekend. Unless Wagner can find a way out of that too.