Schalke-Sportvorstand Knäbel: Dieses Ex-Talent hätte S04 "auch jetzt gut getan"

Florian Krueger played at the age of 19 in S04. Peter Knebel now regrets that he didn’t catch the center attack.

pre-season sold out Schalke 04 US national player Matthew Hoppe for 3.5 million euros for Spanish top-flight club RCD Mallorca. So far, the attacker has not agreed at all. Hoobi played a full 127 minutes this season for Al-Jazira club, which is at risk of relegation, and participated in only five matches. Failed to register.

Schalke sporting director Peter Knabel had already suspected something like this. It’s also why S04 allowed Hoppe, who switched from the USA at U19 to the Royal Blues in 2019, to go despite 22 Bundesliga games and scoring six goals in his relegation year. Because the decision is an intensive process of dealing with the player’s skills. This works best when you are able to watch the boys at Knappenschmiede for a while.

Schalke: Knabel explains decision to sell Hoppe

“You have a completely different picture of the player, what the track was like and what he does,” Knabel explained to WAZ and RevierSport on the sidelines of the final of the German U-17 Championship.

This is why the situation at the Royal Blues is perfect right now, because Mike Büskens and now Rouven Schröder are close to the youth teams and some players have known for years and can see the development for themselves. “It’s a different kind of confidence. It’s different than when they come to the pros because someone is missing in an 11v11 match,” Knäbel compared. “I know them completely differently. This knowledge is very different. The transition zone is the paramount system for getting players out. This requires a lot of hard working people who really care about guys. They noticed that very clearly. That’s why the situation is very, very good for us at the time. Current.” If you make a decision like that of Matthew Hoppe, who was given up despite the goals he scored last year, that is justified. “And with the show, you just have to say: No.”

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Knäbel also used another example to explain why such extensive support for players is so important: “For example, Florian Krueger could have done us well now.” In the summer of 2018, the center forward was in the starting lineup together with Ahmet Kotogo in a 1: 3 losing final of the German U19 Championship. He scored 16 goals in 21 first-class junior matches.

Knabel: Schalke was wrong about Krueger

Unlike Kutucu, however, he did not receive a follow-up contract and moved to Erzgebirge Aue in the second division. While Kotoko has mostly been sitting on the bench at Sandhausen this season, Krueger has played 27 Bundesliga games for Armenia Bielefeld. “Unfortunately we didn’t take it back at the time,” Knabel says. They said: Probably not. A few weeks ago, Knäbel took over his position as Technical Director of Development at S04. He’s been Knappen’s athletic director for a good year.

Knabel hopes that such misjudgements will remain the exception in the future. “When you really know someone, decisions that someone might not make make the most sense.”


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