Schalke fans are about to fall in love. In signing Breel Embolo not only are they getting one of Europe’s hottest young properties, but a truly exceptional character to say the least.
In the modern game, players are criticised for their antics to gain an advantage over their opponents no matter how silly they look in the process. Not Embolo. Last November Embolo’s FC Basel were five minutes from a 3-2 defeat to Grasshoppers when a shot was fired at goal hitting Embolo. The referee awarded a corner, Embolo advised the official that in fact the shot had hit off him and the decision was reversed. That incident made the Cameroon born forward extremely popular in Switzerland and it wasn’t an isolated act of humbleness.
Last year straight after winning the title with Basel, Embolo called the under 18’s manager and asked if he could play the remaining games with them. Wolfsburg saw enough in the Cameroon born forward to table a €27 million bid in January, his response: “I’m not worth that money,” and decided to stay on at Basel. In 2014 and 2015, he was awarded Swiss football’s most popular player also picking up a Player of the Year award last year.
Not just a popular lad then? A good player into the bargain.
The 19-year-old had suitors from top European sides including Manchester United and Barcelona. Again, Embolo showing his maturity in saying that while it is his dream to play for clubs like these, he is not ready and preferred a move to the Bundesliga with Schalke. A reported fee of €25m and a five-year contract a sound investment for sure. In all competitions for Basel, Embolo managed 30 goals in 90 games contributing 22 assists along the way. He has pace, power, strength and stamina, giving him the ability to play out wide or through the middle comfortably.
Although only making his senior debut in 2014, Embolo has managed three league titles with Basel and is a full International with Switzerland, playing a part in all their games at the European Championship.
With Schalke only managing fifth place last season and a place in the Europa league, he will miss out on Champions league football which was guaranteed at Basel, but there’s no doubt this is a move in the right direction.
Having lost Leroy Sane, signing such a popular player is great for the club and it’s fans, for Embolo, Schalke is the perfect place at the right time to kick on and achieve his dreams.