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Schalke 04: El Hombre de Oro

Started on 4 February 2014 by Verdinho
Latest Reply on 16 June 2014 by Maximus
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Good signing!


German international Lewis Holtby has made a shock return to Schalke 04 after Southampton accepted a £13 million offer.

The midfielder left Schalke for Tottenham Hotspur back in January 2013 for £1.5 million but now returns to become Maradona’s third signing of the season.

Holtby inked four year deal on £51,000 a week with Schalke and is looking forward to erasing a less than memorable two and a half years of his career with a return home.

”I’m very pleased to be back. Sadly for me, my career hasn’t quite been the same since I left but I hope I can find my feet here.

“Of course, things are little different here now that we won the Bundesliga title. We’ll be expected to be among the front runners once more and I want to be a part of that.

“When I heard of Schalke’s interest, I snapped onto it and I want nothing more than the opportunity to fight for the club again.”

Since his departure from the Veltins-Arena, Holtby made just 11 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur before being loaned out to London rivals, Fulham.

With ‘The Cottagers’, Holtby impressed after playing 24 league games, earning yet another move to an Andre Villas-Boas club after Paris Saint-Germain signed the 24-year-old for £12 million.

However, Holtby made just seven appearances for ‘Le PSG’ before a January transfer to Southampton, where the then £5.5 million man made 17 appearances and scored four goals.


Schalke 04 has completed the signing of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore for £6 million after the Argentine requested a move.

Pastore will now represent Schalke for the next four seasons on £61,000 a week, a wage packet thought to be considerably less than what he was earning at PSG.

The 26-year-old is believed to have had a mismatch in opinions with Andre Villas-Boas at PSG, thus requesting a move this summer after being left out of the squad.

The Argentine will be reunited with his compatriot and former boss Diego Maradona, having won the Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions’ League title together in 2014.

Pastore is excited to be working with Maradona again and hopes he can rekindle his form once more after appearing just 12 times for PSG last season.

”My intention was always to leave PSG and hopefully join Schalke this summer. I enjoyed working under Maradona before and I’m desperate for the same outcome again.

“I’m not one to sit on the bench and smile at my wages. I just want to play and that is why I’ve taken a pay cut to be here. I’m here to prove a point.”

The Talleras de Cordoba product burst onto the global scene in 2011 when his 11 Serie A goals for Palermo earned him a £36.5 million move to PSG.

In a move that quickly made him PSG’s key player, Pastore’s gloss was soon thwarted by the arrival of Thiago Silva and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AC Milan the following season.

Pastore had the odd season of success, albeit under Maradona, in which he appeared 49 times and scored seven en route to Ligue 1 triumph.

However, his final season didn’t enclose many special memories as AS Monaco dethroned PSG as Ligue 1 champions and Pastore made more appearances for the club’s reserves as opposed to the Parisian’s first team.
Nice to see a player reunite with you


Schalke 04 manager Diego Maradona has revealed he is looking at the possibility of playing Julian Draxler as a striker this season.

The Argentine has been impressed with Draxler’s finishing in training and believes the 21-year-old may have a new role to play in the future.

”Playing Draxler as a striker is something that has been debated before and I can see why. His technique is above many in the league so he has the capability to be versatile forward.

“I’ve been impressed with his ability to finish, and as we all know, he can already play across all attacking midfield positions, so I see no reason why he can’t add the striker position to his arsenal.

“As a player who can comfortably use both feet, he can become our false number nine just like Marco Reus often is for Borussia Dortmund and Mario Götze at Bayern Munich.”

Draxler’s first opportunity as a striker may come against Bayern Munich in the German Super Cup, with Leandro Damiao away on international duty meanwhile Stevan Jovetic and Artur Sobiech recover from injury.

Schalke 04 Pre-Season 2015/16

Kara (52) – Neustädter (27), Füllkrug O.G. (57)

Nielsen (32), Gabriel (90) - Aogo (40), Meyer (63)

Fierro (5) - Matip (50), Santana (87)

Sakai (6), Neustädter (16), Jovetic (25), Draxler (40)

Oh Hee-Yun (45), Lee Woong (80) – Jovetic (7, 55), Choi Chul-Ho O.G. (60), Podolski (85)

Draxler (2), Matip (73), Sakai (85)

Player to Watch

Roman Neustädter

As I regularly play a defensive midfielder in my tactic, Neustädter is one player I have looked very closely at and I’m pretty pleased with his ability to win and protect the ball. Time will tell if he’s the right man for my formation, he still has time to grow, and if he can keep up with Sead Kolasinac’s competition, then Roman will be key for us this season.

Maradona’s Verdict

It was a solid pre-season for us overall. We got a few iffy results here and there but we should pick up as the season progresses. We don’t look the best defensively but again, with time, our whole team will get accustomed to my style. We have a tranquil start to the season so I am expecting a positive period in August.
A promising start! Good luck in the league!
Great signing in Pastore, i'm sure he'll be amazing for you. Can't wait to see how Draxler performs as a striker, either! Good luck heading into the new season :)

July/August 2015

Lewandowski (20), Götze (24, 57) – Matip (77)

Goretzka (7), Podolski (16), Draxler (19), Damiao (90+1)

Draxler (8, 21, pen 35, 44)

Neustädter (39), Damiao (44)

Farfan (30, 32)

Hamas (47) – Holtby (1), Höwedes (20), Jovetic (24), Farfan (36)

Bundesliga Table

Schalke’s Player of the Month

Jefferson Farfan

Jefferson Farfan was one of the players tipped to have been finished here at Schalke, but having always been a fan of the player, I decided to keep hold of him. He repaid me with three goals and five assists, maintaining his ability to drive forward from the wings and constantly cause a threat to the opposition. Farfan has plenty ahead of him yet.

Maradona’s Verdict

It has been a routine month for us in which most results were expected. We began with the German Supercup versus Bayern Munich, with the Bavarians still clear favourites despite Schalke winning the Bundesliga last season. There squad is bordering on perfect and we have to hold our hands up and admit that the likes of Götze and Thiago Alcantara are unplayable at times. They have a magnificent coach in Pep Guardiola and I’d say they are hot favourites for all titles.

Nevertheless, we will battle them and we got off to a positive start in the league. I was a bit surprised to see us win in the manner that we did versus Hoffenheim but I expected us to beat the remaining three games. You can still never predict the momentum smaller teams possess early on in the season, so I’d regard this start to the season as really good, a start much needed for next month’s considerably tougher fixtures.
top of the table and farfan looks a good player for u :) keep up the good work
Wow, Draxler played well in that Hoofenheim game, 4 first half goals :O . Good to see Holtby back at Schalke, too. How's he been for you?
Nick - Holtby has been pretty sound! At the moment, Draxler and Farfan have been great so Holtby is battling it out with Pastore as our number 10



Real Madrid
AS Monaco
Zenit St. Petersburg


Paris Saint-Germain
FC Porto


Red Star Belgrade
Atletico Madrid
Viktoria Plzen


Sporting Lisbon
Manchester United
Schalke 04


FC København
FC Bayern Munich
RSC Anderlecht


Borussia Dortmund
PSV Eindhoven
BATE Borisov


FC Barcelona
CSKA Moscow
Shakhtar Donetsk
Steaua Bucharest


Manchester City
Olympique Lyonnais
Unlucky mate, that's a really difficult group. I'm sure you can get through though.
Tough group, mate. Anyway, I think your team have the quality to go next. Good luck!

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