Due to the long-term injuries of Rodrigo Zalazar and Sepp van den Berg, Schalke 04 players have to move up. They may not be in the starting XI directly and automatically, but Florent Mollet and Alex Kral will become much more important in the coming weeks.
No question: The injuries to Rodrigo Zalazar and Sepp van den Berg mean a loss of quality for Schalke. While Zalazar is one of the few creative players and an absolute fan favorite ("Zalazar" shouted out last Saturday after just 20 minutes), van den Berg was able to establish himself in central defense with good performances.
Since the two are not only out for two or three weeks, but for several months, the Gelsenkirchen team will have to reconsider the current composition of the match day team.
Automatically and inevitably, this also means that many a player is now becoming more important and is moving closer to the stakes again. According to Bild, this will be the case in particular for Alex Kral and Florent Mollet.
The latter had hardly gotten a chance at all from Frank Kramer. He only played a measly 59 minutes, and he wasn't even in the squad in the last three games. Now the Frenchman, who came to the S04 with quite high expectations due to its quality, is to slip into the role of Zalazar.
But if the trainer is as sparing with Mollet as he has been with Zalazar in the past few weeks, it will still be short-term assignments. For him, however, the opportunity to present himself reasonably regularly in the game.
With Kral, on the other hand, there is more of an option than being able to immediately resume the task he started at the beginning of the season as a regular player.
The 24-year-old Czech can be deployed flexibly, which also makes him an option for central defence. At least in theory he would be a possible replacement for van den Berg. He could play in central defense alongside Maya Yoshida. A potential advantage: as a strong central defender, he could add a new dimension to the build-up game. The problem: Kramer still relies on long balls. So there would hardly be any gain in that regard.
In any case, it seems much more likely that Leo Greiml will move up. He is a trained central defender and has left a good impression after recovering from the cruciate ligament rupture. He is ready to take on this important task.
So Kral does not move directly into the first eleven because there is currently hardly any reason to put Florian Flick back on the bench. However, the failure will give him a much better chance to show himself again.
This article was originally published on 90min.com as Zalazar and van den Berg's failure: Mollet and Kral move into S04 focus.