Rouven Schröder: I’m someone who thinks positively
Rouven Schröder has added another important piece to the Schalke squad puzzle with the signing of Rodrigo Zalazar. In a virtual press conference on Thursday (5 Aug), the sporting director spoke about the overall situation in the transfer market. He also addressed the return of Matthew Hoppe and the imminent cup tie away to FC 08 Villingen. schalke04.de took note of the most relevant quotes.
Rouven Schröder on…
… the transfer market at present:
We need to get used to speculations sometimes getting even wilder towards the end of the transfer window. Stories can emerge that are completely untrue. What I can say is that we are making moves on all of our potential transfer targets – we are in contact with the players and their representatives. At the moment it’s a bit of a waiting game. There are still 26 days before the transfer window in Germany and many other leagues closes, after which transfers are still possible in certain countries.
We aren’t the only ones feeling the effects of the transfer market not being as active as in previous years. Not a lot has happened at other clubs either, but we are noticing that the agents are getting in touch more frequently now – not just at weekly intervals, but every two or three days – which is a good sign. So we’re not driving ourselves crazy. If we were at a standstill while the clubs around us were all doing business, that would unsettle me. You also mustn’t forget that every individual transfer goes differently. I am someone who thinks positively and I am sure we will find solutions that suit both the club and the players.
… new signing Rodrigo Zalazar:
We’ve said all along that we want to make ourselves as strong as possible. Rodrigo offers an outstanding all-rounder skill-set for his position in centre mid: Great tactical awareness, both going forward and defensively, aggression in the fifty-fifties and creativity for our attacking game. The player implied from the start that he really wanted to join us, despite offers from other clubs both in Germany and from abroad. This was clear from all of our talks as well.
… Danny Latza’s situation:
A decision has now been reached between the player and the medical staff: The right knee ligament injury will not require an operation. Danny is doing well and I am already looking forward to him leading our team out as captain again. I would not like to try and say when that might be. By the way, Rodrigo Zalazar has not been signed as a replacement for Danny Latza, contrary to what some people are writing. They’re both outstanding players with different characteristics. I am excited to see them play together in that position when Danny is fit again. Dominick Drexler and Victor Pálsson also have a lot of quality in that central position. That’s exactly what we need if we want to be successful.
We have said all along that we want to make ourselves as strong as possible.
… Michael Langer’s injury:
He collided with a player during Wednesday’s session and had to pull out of training. Michi is doing well, but I can’t give an exact diagnosis of the injury. With head injuries especially, you have to be careful. We can probably rule out a major injury, but we need to monitor it day by day.
… Matthew Hoppe’s return:
I was delighted for the lad to be coming back to Gelsenkirchen as a Gold Cup champion. Matthew will be another asset to our team with his attitude and his style of play. I think we’re really well set up in attack. He’s really suited to playing alongside Simon Terodde, Marius Bülter and Marvin Pieringer. Still, I would not like to rule out there being movement in the transfer market around Matthew Hoppe. There have been one or two clubs enquiring about him. We have not received a written offer from anywhere yet though.
… Sunday’s cup game in Villingen:
We are approaching the game with the clear aim of winning and reaching the next round. In games like this, it’s even more important than ever to show modesty and humility and to respect the opposition. We will be fully focused on the game and will definitely not underestimate FC 08 Villingen. This cup game is significant to us from a financial perspective as well as a footballing one – the DFB pays out a six figure bonus to all teams that reach the second round.