His reputation as a set-piece specialist precedes him, yet Johannes Geis had not scored a direct free-kick since joining FC Schalke 04 in the summer – until Saturday.
The 22-year-old curled in one of his signature set-pieces, inch-perfect into the VfL Wolfsburg goal, beyond the despairing dive of Diego Benaglio.
With his arms outstretched, Geis rushed to celebrate his strike in front of the Nordkurve, as if to say: 'Look! I've done it'. Finally, he had delivered on the promise he indirectly made by being such a prolific scorer of direct free-kicks for his former club 1. FSV Mainz 05. It was his first for Schalke, and for the fans it was well worth the wait.
- Geis made his Bundesliga debut on 24 February 2013
- His goal against Wolfsburg was his fourth from a direct free-kick
- In the current season, Geis' set-pieces have led to seven goals
- That means that ALL of Schalke's goals from set-pieces in 2015/16 have been made by his boot
Best in the business
Since his Mainz days, the former Germany under-21 international has developed a reputation as a set-piece specialist. Last season, 11 dead balls that he struck led to a goal, with only Werder Bremen's Zlatko Junuzovic more successful in the Bundesliga. He has cultivated that reputation since arriving in Gelsenkirchen last summer: he is currently the Bundesliga's number one, with five corners and two free-kicks resulting in a goal.
When Schalke's number five was suspended for four games, Schalke failed to take a single point in the league. Geis has also played the most passes in the Bundesliga this season, and despite being just 22, has already become the brains behind Schalke's play, to such a degree that he is sorely missed when unavailable. With his reliable injury record - he missed just one league match in two seasons at Mainz - Breitenreiter will be hoping he can count on the talented young playmaker for the rest of the campaign and beyond.