Snubbing interest from Manchester United and Arsenal, Breel Embolo has moved to Schalke 04 on a five-year deal.
Turning down the advances of Premier League giants in favour of a move to a Bundesliga club, who have been in the shadows of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, may seem a rather unwise move.
However, as their rosters are jam-packed, the move to Veltins-Arena has colossal chances of becoming a success, as he will likely enjoy a plethora of first-team action and top notch nurturing, besides being in a league, which features more Swiss players than any league other than Raiffeisen Super League.
Embolo is certain to take one of Europe’s biggest leagues by the storm as soon as club football season resumes.
Have the English juggernauts missed out on a gem?
The Swiss international burst onto the scene when he caused Liverpool many problems two years ago as a 16-year-old centre-forward playing out wide on the wings.
Embolo has since proceeded to justify the early hype, garnering 14 international caps, being directly involved in 53 club goals in 91 senior appearances since his debut in March 2014, and lifting three Swiss league titles.
Known to boast the knack for showy skills, Embolo is arguably one of the finest finishers in his age group. Standing at over 6 feet tall, Embolo is excellent in the air; he also boasts the pace that makes him a valuable asset during the transition phase.
Though his passing still has room for improvement, at only 19 years of age, he is certain to polish that aspect of his game, especially since his vision has always been outstanding.
In spite of his consistent 8/10 performances in the Swiss league and Europa League, Embolo still has not delivered much in the big boys’ leagues. His performances in the European Championship qualifying rounds and the finals attest to the unreliability of the youngster.
Although he managed to bag four assists and one goal in the qualifiers, he could neither create nor score a goal in the finals as Vladimir Petkovic’s men crashed out of the tournament, winning just a single game.
The new Schalke signing especially had trouble tussling with the France defence marshaled by Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny.
Though his overall contribution to the game was convincing, Embolo hardly ever managed to force a save from Hugo Lloris, never mind the other three goalkeepers he went up against.
Have the English juggernauts really missed out on a gem?
Despite the ever-growing fanbase of German football, Bundesliga remains Premier League’s feeder league as evinced by Kevin de Bruyne’s big money Manchester City switch from Wolfsburg and Liverpool’s purchase of Roberto Firmino.
Accordingly, Arsenal or United can still go on to add Premier League to Embolo’s work history should they need him.
The Cameroon-born Swiss international cost Schalke a reasonable transfer fee, in the region of £22.3 million, but Schalke would definitely command a transfer fee that would require the English clubs to break the banks in the coming years, provided his progress maintained the pace.
However, with the influx of money pumped into the league, the English giants could easily afford who might then be a proven world-class striker.
Written by Praveen Paramasivam
Follow Praveen on Twitter @49Praveen
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