Benedikt Höwedes terminates his contract with Lok Moscow. The world champion wants to be closer to his home town of Haltern am See in the future. The perfect starting point for a return to FC Schalke.
Three years ago Domenico Tedesco initiated the farewell to Benedikt Höwedes with the words “Travelers should not be stopped”. The young, new Schalke trainer had previously replaced the 2014 world champion as captain of the royal blue and damned him on the bench. Höwedes went. First to Turin to Juventus, then to the top Russian club Lok Moscow. A lot has changed in Gelsenkirchen since then.
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Tedesco is no longer a coach at Schalke. The club’s defense is a patchwork of young professionals, loan players and underperformers. And Höwedes? He has just canceled his contract in Moscow. The remoteness and anonymity in the Russian metropolis was probably nothing for the family people anymore. He wants to go home again. To Haltern am See. And maybe even to Schalke. After all, Gelsenkirchen is only 35 kilometers away. The time has come for Höwedes to return to Berger Feld.
Schalke should let his lost son back into his living room. Höwedes belongs back to the Veltins Arena. And that would not only benefit him, but the whole club.
Höwedes can still help the Schalke team
Höwedes was 13 when he came to Schalke. In the Royal Blues, he became an iron-hard but tactically savvy central defender, a leader with a mind that was still uniquely differentiated in football. An identification figure for millions of Schalke players, a world champion.
Benedikt Höwedes (left) in March 2008. A few months earlier he made his Bundesliga debut – for Schalke, of course. (Source: Sven Simon / imago images)
Yes, maybe he has lost some of his momentum abroad in the past three years. But the Russian Premier League also has a good level at the top, Lok Moscow has mixed with regular player Höwedes in the Champions League. For Schalke, his class is always enough even at 32.
Definitely: He can still help this team. And if only as a supplementary player and motivator. No matter. The name Höwedes has weight on Schalke. And that is the most important. One shouldn’t let the chance of an obligation pass – because it is unique.
It is clear that Höwedes is willing to forego money to return to Germany. Schalke could certainly pay his salary. And you get a lot from him for that. The current Schalke losers could pull themselves up and orient themselves on a guy like Höwedes.
Of course, it would primarily strengthen the currently shaky defense network. Schalke’s top talent Ozan Kabak could be pushed by the world champion in the direction of world class, Salif Sané understand in many conversations that the burden of “defense chief” is also an honor that you have to know how to deal with. And together with returnee Ralf Fährmann, Höwede’s career egoists like Amine Harit and Benito Raman could inoculate the Schalke DNA.
Amine Harit (left) and Benito Raman could use some extra tuition in terms of identification. (Source: RHR photo / imago images)
And even if in the last instance this only works with a tulip and a curry in the club “Bosch” on the Schalke Mile!
Höwedes is the foundation on which Schalke should build his future
For Schalke, Höwedes would be much more than just a new commitment. It would be a solid foundation on which the ruins of this second half of the season could be built again. With the ex-captain, Maloche and cohesion would again stand before everything else. Pulling together, going beyond the pain threshold – Höwedes embodies this like hardly any other soccer player.
In addition, his commitment would be a strategically wise decision for the future. For years, ex-Schalke players like Marcelo Bordon and Tomasz Hajto have accused the club of failing to integrate deserving alumni into club life. Who, if not Höwedes, could better stand for a change at Schalke? Whose, if not his return would call out more: once Schalke, always Schalke.
Because this one feeling probably creeps up a lot of miners: Schalke and Höwedes, this wonderful sporting story has not yet been finished.