Julian Draxler, Leon Goretzka, Max Meyer and Leroy Sane, these are some of the young talent Schalke have purchased or brought through their famous youth academy over the years. Schalke have a star in the making, dubbed the next “Manuel Neuer”, Timon Wellenreuther. He is one of the best young goalkeepers in football and is tipped for a big future ahead of him.
At 6ft 1 ins, the 20-year old, athletic shot stopper was born in Karlsruhe three and half hours from Gelsenkirchen. Wellenreuther’s father, Ingo, is a politician and the chairman of Karlsruher SC. The youngster started his career in the ranks of SC Bulach at the age of eight, before moving to KSC from FC Astoria Walldorf at the age of fifteen, where he featured for the Under 17 and 19 teams.
Signing for the Royal Blues on a free transfer from his Karlsruhe in 2013, he featured for the Under 19 team. Putting pen to paper on a new contract in 2014, which would keep him at the Veltins Arena until 2017, made him the 13th player to sign a new deal from the Under 19 team.
Due to injuries to Ralf Fährmann and Fabian Giefer in 2015, he started the Champions League Round of 16 first leg match against Real Madrid on February 18 that year. Former Schalke manager Roberto Di Matteo analysed his performances and said Wellenreuther would only get better if given the chance to showcase his talent in front of a packed Bernabeu capacity. A year later though, he found chances limited, becoming fourth choice behind the likes of Ralf Fährmann, Fabian Giefer and Christian Wetklo.
He opted to join RCD Mallorca in July 2015 to gain regular first team action. Making 24 appearances, he has been very impressive between the sticks in the Segunda Division this season. So far the keeper has only conceded 25 goals, keeping a total of 8 clean sheets. Despite the loan player’s good performances, RCD are currently struggling at the bottom of the table, simply because they find it hard to score this season.
He is a risk taker. Confident. As with most German goalkeeper’s, Wellenreuther likes to use the ball at his feet, command his area and clear the ball away from the danger area. His aerial ability is something to note and he is good with set pieces. His attentiveness and concentration is sharp too.
After the end of the season the 20-year-old is set to return to Schalke. It remains to be seen if he’ll be given his chance there, or if he has to move to another team to make his breakthrough at a higher level than second tier football.
Photo by PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images
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