Bundesliga 2 record goalscorer Simon Terodde (No.9) is spearheading Schalke's promotion charge. - © imago
Bundesliga 2 record goalscorer Simon Terodde (No.9) is spearheading Schalke's promotion charge. - © imago
2. Bundesliga

Simon Terodde, Thomas Ouwejan and the top 5 players key to Schalke's promotion push

Schalke have genuine designs on making an immediate return to the Bundesliga. Simon Terodde and Thomas Ouwejan are among the players key to their prospects of getting out of Bundesliga 2 at the first time of asking...

Simon Terodde

Terrode is the Bundesliga 2’s answer to Robert Lewandowski. The second-tier specialist pulled level with former Hannover 96 striker Dieter Schatzschneider on 153 Bundesliga 2 goals prior to the October international break, and needs just one more to claim the record outright. He’s struck a league-leading 11 times in 10 outings in 2021/22, at a rate of one goal every 80 minutes. A fourth top scorer's cannon is very much on the cards, as is a third career top-flight promotion. A Germany call-up might not be too far away, either.

Watch: Simon Terodde - 153 Bundesliga 2 goals for six clubs

Thomas Ouwejan

Ouwejan has supplied three of Terodde's 11 goals, four all told and a league-high number of crosses. The former Netherlands U21 international is also among the division's top five players for sprints, and has lasted 90 minutes in all but one of Schalke's first 10 league assignments. Currently on a season-long loan from Alkmaar, it's hard to imagine Schalke doing anything but exercising their option to buy the all-singing, all-dancing left wing-back. Expect Fantasy Bundesliga managers to follow suit in their droves, if Die Knappen can dig themselves out of the second tier.

Schalke's Thomas Ouwejan (r.) has been one of the signings of the 2021/22 season so far. - Christopher Neundorf via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Kirchner-Media

Marius Bülter

Marius Bülter already has top-flight experience that he's putting to decidedly good use. The Thomas Müller to Terodde's Lewandowski, Bülter is second at Schalke for total goal involvement with three goals and as many assists. He also scored a brace in the DFB Cup first round, building on his eight goals in 58 Bundesliga appearances for former employers Union Berlin - the first two of which fell against Schalke's fierce local rivals Borussia Dortmund. If the 28-year-old continues in the same vein, Dortmund in a Bundesliga Revierderby could be on the menu sooner rather than later.

Watch: Marius Bülter scored one and made another against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Matchday 5

Victor Palsson

Captain Victor Palsson is tailor-made for German football's biggest derby. The Iceland international brings a wealth of experience to the table from his time in England, the US, Scotland, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany, alongside his trademark bite and bark. Third at Schalke for challenges won, he's already overstepped the mark once this season - earning a red card in defeat to Karlsruhe on Matchday 7 - but name a team that won anything without an aggressive leader in the middle of the park...

Martin Fraisl

A similar rationale applies to the last man of defence. Schalke lost three, whilst conceding 11 goals across their first seven matches of the Bundesliga 2 season. Since head coach Dimitrios Grammozis dropped veteran goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann in favour of summer signing Martin Fraisl, the Royal Blues have recorded three to-nil wins in a row.

Martin Fraisl has brought a welcome calming presence to the Schalke rearguard. - imago

A solid shot-stopper with a real command of his area and good feet, the Austrian is a modern-day custodian for a new era at Schalke.