Suat Serdar: "I like to set the tone on the pitch."
Suat Serdar pulls the strings in this Schalke side. Despite a difficult first year with the Royal Blues, the 22-year-old has already begun to command the Schalke midfield.
This interview was conducted before the now-ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Therefore the pandemic and the virus were not topics of conversation at the time.
Suat, your form has been steadily improving since Spring of 2019. Is there a particular reason behind that?
No, it was due to a combination of a lot of factors. It took me a while to get started, but at the same time we messed up at the start of the season. Since there was a lot of pressure on me early on, I needed to adapt quickly. Later on, I got better in each game under Huub Stevens.
You also improved a lot physically.
Last season was followed on immediately by the U21 European Championships, but I didn’t really get a chance in that tournament. During my shorter summer break, I looked back on the year and decided that it couldn’t continue as it had last season. I needed to work harder on myself. My complete determination was coupled with a higher intensity in training, and after my first goal of the season in Paderborn, everything felt like it came together and I didn’t even think about it anymore.
I like to lead on the pitch
The fans recently honoured your performances with two “Player of the Month” awards. Why do you feel you were awarded these?
First and foremost, the fans enjoy every goal that I score, But they also probably can see that I’m working hard, both in and out of possession. I like to lead on the pitch.
Do you already see yourself as a leader at 22?
I like to set the tone on the pitch. I know that I am still very young, but I see myself as being absolutely in a position to galvanise the team and take control of the match.
And off the pitch?
It’s still a bit different. I see myself as more of a shy, introverted type, but I also want to work on becoming more of a leader in this aspect too. At the moment, the older players are setting an example, so I need to work a bit harder on myself too. I will set that as my goal, and eventually my time will come.