Schalke boss Knäbel: Boujellab and Kolodziejczak “did nothing”

A separation from Nassim Boujellab and Timothee Kolodziejczak was sought this winter, “but it didn’t happen,” says Schalke’s sporting director Peter Knäbel. The duo is therefore continuing to train in the U23s. At the behest of Thomas Reis, this also applies to Ibrahima Cissé, who the coach persistently talks into his conscience.

Outside of Schalke: Nassim Boujellab and Timothee Kolodziejczak.

Thomas Reis thinks a lot of Ibrahima Cissé, Schalke’s coach predicts a steep career for the long central defender. “If the boy fails, it’s his head,” says Reis, indicating that the defender’s attitude and approach are not as exemplary as befits a professional in the Bundesliga. Reis persistently appeals to the 21-year-old’s conscience and wishes him a turnaround as soon as possible. A player with his skills “just has to hit the ground running”.

The Cissé case is reminiscent of Reis’ dealings with Armel Bella-Kotchap at VfL Bochum. When Reis was still a coach there, the coach also had to pull other strings. With success: Bella-Kotchap, like Cissé, a French-born central defender, blossomed and moved to the Premier League last summer. Financially, he gave VfL an unimagined sum.

There were ten million euros for his move to Southampton FC. This amount made Bella-Kotchap a record sale in Bochum. Leon Goretzka set the previous record when he switched to Schalke in the summer of 2013 for around five million euros.

Cissé is still a long way from a development like that of the German World Cup participant Bella-Kotchap, he must first recommend himself again through the regional league team of the Royal Blues. “He’s doing well with the U23s,” says Reis, who came on for Cissé at least on Tuesday in the second half of the secret test against SG Wattenscheid 09 (6-0).

No interested parties for Schalke duo

Nassim Boujellab and Timothee Kolodziejczak are not even substituted on in a test, both are firmly in the reserve ensemble. Schalke had hoped to be able to give up the duo this winter, but “nothing happened,” explains sporting director Peter Knäbel. Negotiations had not even begun. There is a small hope: isolated markets are still open, such as the Turkish or Austrian.

While Kolodziejczak’s commitment, which was only completed in October, quickly turned out to be a big misunderstanding, Schalke at Boujellab had hoped for a long time that there could be an intimate relationship between the club and the home-grown player at professional level. Knäbel once personally campaigned for Boujellab to have a chance with the professionals, but even with his later loan stations FC Ingolstadt and HJK Helsinki (until the end of 2022), Boujellab could not recommend himself for a royal blue future. The 23-year-old’s contract expires in the summer.



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