With Schalke announcing that Alexander Nübel will leave the club at the end of the 2019/20 season, 21-year-old stopper Markus Schubert has the safe pair of hands more than capable of making sure the club's famed goalkeeping baton isn’t dropped.
bundesliga.com sheds some light on the latest Gelsenkirchen goalie destined for greatness.
Country: Germany (4 caps for U21s)
Having emerged through the academy of SV Lok Nossen out in Germany’s east, Schubert made the move 30 kilometres even further east to Dresden as a 13-year-old in 2011. Just four years later, he made his senior debut for Dynamo Dresden in Germany’s third tier aged just 17. The teenage Schubert was certainly not overawed - he kept a clean sheet - and although it was his sole appearance of the campaign, Dynamo went on to earn promotion that year. He had to wait 790 days for his next senior league appearance and impressed during a nine-game stint between the posts that included four wins and two clean sheets.
By the 2018/19 campaign, he had established himself as Dresden No1, playing 31 times and keeping nine clean sheets before Schalke came calling in summer 2019. And the 6’1” goalie was given his first opportunity with the Royal Blues courtesy of Nübel’s red card against Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 15. It opened the door for the four-time capped Germany U21 international to stake his claim for a regular spot and having kept Frankfurt out to see his side to victory, Schalke went unbeaten (W1, D2) from Schubert’s first three appearances.
Plays a bit like: Manuel Neuer
It may be a lofty comparison but it’s one that is hard to ignore. Neuer - a graduate of Schalke’s famed Knappenschmiede academy - is an inspiration to follow, and has raised the bar for goalkeepers the world over.
His innovative, sweeper-keeper role is now an integral part of modern football and he has paved the way for the likes of Schubert - and the outgoing Nübel - to change how the position is viewed. Schubert may not have shown the same adventure or ability at his feet as Neuer just yet but he is a superb shot stopper and has plenty of time to develop the other aspects of his game.
Did you know?
Schubert left home at the age of 10 to pursue his dream of becoming a professional footballer, first boarding at the facilities provided by his youth club SC Riesa before, and then doing so at Dynamo Dresden from the age of 13 onwards. He was invited to start training with the first team for the first time when he was just 16.
What they’re saying
“We’re very happy to have signed an exceptional goalkeeping talent in Markus Schubert. An important factor in Markus’ signing was the judgement of goalkeeping coach Simon Henzler, who thinks very highly of him.” - Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider explains why the club were so keen to sign Schubert
“The whole team and the coaching staff helped me feel good straight away. The boys gave me courage and told me to stay calm, which I did.” - Schubert after making his Schalke debut
"It can’t have been easy to come into such a heated, important and tight game, especially against a team who were throwing everything forward… Schubi did a really great job, radiated calm and was totally present." - Schalke coach David Wagner following that same first appearance at the club for Schubert