Kevin Schade:Nigeria on His Mind
Though he was born and lived all his life in Germany, Freiburg’s flying winger, Kevin Schade, has expressed his desire to play for the country of his father as he is eligible for Nigeria inspite of having played for Germany at the U21 level
He began his professional football career with Energie Cottbus which he had joined as a 13-year-old boy.
He joined Freiburg at 17 and began with the second team which gained promotion to the third division for the first time when he starred at the club. His stock soon rose and was seen by the team’s handlers as a player that can make things happen.
Schade is fast, and has a keen eye for goal. His strong heading ability and willingness to get the final ball through incisive runs have stood him out as one of the best youngsters in the German league.
Already a German U-21 international, he featured 20 times for Freiburg last season as they pushed for a place in Europe, scoring four goals and assisting once. He played a total of 813 minutes in the league last season.
The Bundesliga is one of the foremost leagues in the world and if the 20-year-old keeps working hard, the league may soon become his to conquer.
Schade is one of the brightest youngsters in German football and won’t be allowed to leave without a significant financial compensation for the club.
The 20-year-old breakout star played 813 minutes across 20 games in the Bundesliga last season. He scored four goals and assisted one but had done enough to inspire interest from Brentford who want to add him to their attacking troop.
German publication, Kicker, has said the Bees have prepared another bid after an initial €15m offer was rejected by the Bundesliga campaigners.
Freiburg Sporting Director, Klemens Hartenbach is reluctant to sell Schade as he has potential to become an even bigger player at the club.
The flying winger who is also eligible for Nigeria missed the last two months of the 2021/22 season after an abdominal muscle injury.
Freiburg are also in the driving seat as there’s no clause on his contract necessitating discussions if an offer comes for him.
The winger was the fastest player last season in the league, clocking 36.7km/h. He can also play in a variety of positions across the attack and in the midfield and is rated as one of the best young players in German football.
Schade has insisted he is leaving any talk of a move to Brentford this summer in the hands of his agent for the time being.
Brentford are believed to be keen on the 20-year-old forward, who enjoyed a ‘rapid ascent’ in the Bundesliga last season.
That was halted by an injury which curtailed the end of the campaign, but he remains highly rated and has admirers in Europe.
One of them are Brentford, with a recent report stating that Freiburg had rejected an ‘enormous offer’ of €15m for his services.
Whether that’s the end of their efforts is, as yet, unknown, although the belief is that the Bees may make more bids as they continue building for a second season in the Premier League.
It is a situation that is likely to develop in the coming weeks, although it seems Schade is not interested in any talk of a transfer for the time being.
“Many friends are sending me this, but I really can’t deal with it right now,” he told BLID.
“I have more important problems. I feel comfortable here, so I can’t say much about it. That’s up to my manager.”
According to previous reports, Liverpool had monitored the development of the Freiburg winger very closely. An explosive winger who predominantly likes to play on the right wing and is capable of beating his opponents with ease, Schade is a quintessential Jurgen Klopp player, and it is no surprise that the Reds would be interested in his services.
However, it seems Liverpool are not the only club interested in the 20-year-old as Brentford have bid €15m for Schade, and hope to lure him to the Premier League this summer.
Still extremely raw as a player after just one season in the Bundesliga, Brentford’s transfer move could work in Liverpool’s favour. With Mohamed Salah’s contract extension, there is no immediate need to add another right-winger to the squad, but with Salah not getting any younger at 30 years of age, in a few years’ time that may change.
By then, if Schade moves to Brentford, Liverpool will have been able to observe him and measure his quality in England to get a better judgement of him as a player and whether he would be suited to a move to Anfield.
Schade’s underlying numbers of five goal contributions in just seven starts and 813 minutes in the Bundesliga are certainly impressive. In total he averaged 0.58 goal contributions for Freiburg in all competitions last season, which is not a bad number considering Freiburg predominantly played counter-attacking football.
In a more attacking team at U21 level for Germany, Schade thrived more last season, scoring three goals and registering two assists in four appearances for the national team.
With Freiburg having qualified for Europe, giving that up to move to the Premier League will be a difficult dilemma for Schade, but perhaps the promise of more minutes at Brentford could be enough to convince him.
Wherever he moves, there is a lot of potential in the 20-year-old, and Liverpool should keep an eye out. If he continues to improve he could just provide the solution at right-wing for the Reds in a future beyond Salah.