Benedikt Höwedes’ end of career is certainly not only due to, but also to Schalke 04. And that’s not a good sign for the royal blue. A comment.
Between the lines of his farewell interview in the mirror, Höwedes made it relatively clear that he would have liked to return to his heart club again. “I always thought of a comeback,” said the 32-year-old. “I also had some inquiries from clubs at home and abroad, but I no longer wanted to make myself dependent on the decisions of others. I now wanted to draw a line.”
In other words: the willingness was not available on the Schalke side. Team manager Sascha Riether had already hinted at this recently when he said the team had enough defenders and Höwedes also didn’t fit into the concept of rejuvenation. Both are wrong. A look at the squad is enough.
Schalke: Three central defenders before the jump, one injured
As the well-known miners need money, it is known that three of the six central defenders of the past season will leave: Ozan Kabak is being courted by top clubs like Liverpool and would bring the most transfer. Benjamin Stambouli and Matija Nastasic are too expensive, so that the expired contract of the first could only be extended to significantly reduced payments and the latter should be removed from the payroll. In addition, Salif Sane is out of action for several weeks after knee surgery, leaving only youngsters Timo Becker (23) and Malick Thiaw (18). In addition, Schalke currently has no regular right-back in the squad after Jonjoe Kenny’s departure.
There would be enough space for a flexible defensive player like Höwedes, who could still keep up despite increasing physical problems, as a right-back made his professional debut on Schalke and became world champion in 2014 as a left-back. In addition, the seasoned man would be a strong anchor for the talents who, like him, should be integrated into the first team from the miners’ smithy almost 13 years ago, precisely because of the necessary rejuvenation.
Benedikt Höwedes: Only Schalke came into question
Above all, however, the former crowd favorite would have been the much needed face that the team and the entire club are currently going so painfully. Other offers were out of the question for Höwedes, because he never wanted to play for a club other than Schalke in the Bundesliga and a renewed move abroad was not possible for the native Haltern due to family reasons. But for the royal blues, Höwedes would have been prepared to contribute his share to the new beginning as a team player.
“I had the vision of achieving something big with Schalke. My big goal was to become German champions at Schalke or at least to win the trophy again. I really didn’t care about offers from other clubs. I was and I firmly believe that a title with Schalke is worth a lot more than a title with Bayern Munich. I lived and worked hard for it – unfortunately it didn’t become a reality, “he said in an interview last December SPOX and .
Höwedes rejected lucrative offers after winning the World Cup
That is why Höwedes rejected lucrative offers from the top leagues, including those from Tottenham, after the World Cup victory, and committed to Schalke. Nevertheless, three years later, he had just been replaced by Domenico Tedesco as a captain and put on the bench, so that he felt forced to say goodbye due to the lack of prospects. “It really hurt, I was very disappointed. The way the breakup went was particularly offensive,” he said in the interview.
At that time, Schalke completely pissed off his identification figure and is now without a real leader in the sporting and financial crisis. Höwedes believes it is his own fault: “Schalke 04 is still a vital part of life for a lot of people, you have to run a club like this differently than a retort club.”
This can certainly be seen as a side blow to Alexander Jobst, the marketing director who is unpopular with fans and perhaps even to sports director Jochen Schneider, who came from RB Leipzig. Apparently there is currently no interest in the management of the club to return Höwedes as a player or as sports director, although the post has been vacant for a long time. Perhaps this rejection will change somewhat in the next few months, but for the moment Schalke has made it clear that it does not want the former captain back. A mistake, because a Höwedes comeback would have been an opportunity and not a risk.
More at SPOX: Höwedes stops: “Unimportant football”