Full of energy, dynamism and one of the most exciting youngsters plying their trade in the Premier League, Brentford’s Kevin Schade appears destined to enjoy a breakthrough campaign.
Unquestionably one of the fastest players in world football and a talent with an incredibly high ceiling, the man who initially joined Brentford on loan last January before permanently signing for £22 million from Freiburg in June has so many of the raw ingredients needed to develop into a bonafide star.
While he’s still extremely raw and is by no means the finished article yet, it’s been encouraging to see Thomas Frank placing his trust in the German hotshot and Schade repaying his faith with some impressive performances.
Finally getting on the scoresheet to break a 21-match goal drought, he’ll be hoping this will be the catalyst for him to truly kick on and show what a weapon he is. “I’m so pleased for him and for us. We just know it’s important that they get that first goal for the confidence — and what a goal, by the way. I loved his initiative to just go at the opponent and then get all the way into the box. It was a nice and composed finish. Hopefully, more of those goals will come,” Frank insisted.
Possessing frightening speed and an absolute nightmare to keep tabs on when given time and space on the ball, the unpredictable attacker can be a real handful to stop with the ball at his feet.
Powerful and explosive, the quick-footed German is such an asset when in full flight, for he can bypass opponents with his razor sharp turn of speed, nifty changes of direction, ability to knock the ball beyond before then latching onto it and crafty feints and shimmies.
Especially dangerous in transition with space to run into against underloaded and backpedalling backlines, this is where he’s at his most threatening, where he can help turn defence into attack in an instant, plus win fouls in advantageous advanced locations.
Full of flair and confidence, it also warrants mention how he uses his sizeable frame to hold up the ball with his back to goal and to hold off foes while waiting for a viable option. Good at adjusting his receiving posture and spinning opponents as well, this adds to his danger.
His aerial qualities are an important string to his bow as well, with the 185 cm ace providing a top outlet from goal-kicks, where his height advantage is usually amplified vs. smaller full-backs, and when serving as a fine target for deliveries into the area.
While his distribution isn’t at the level of his ball carrying, there’s still positives attached to his work here, for he’s shown he can still hit some sharp passes in behind, fire in some enticing crosses and engage in some slick interplay in the final third.
Demonstrating his promising finishing skills in Germany, he’ll certainly be looking to up his scoring output now he’s off the mark with the Bees. Capable of finding the back of the net in an array of ways using his head and feet, it’ll be interesting seeing him keep improving in this regard, as he can sometimes rush his chances or lack clarity in his decisions.
A major force to be reckoned with in terms of his movement, Schade’s especially shown his class when running in behind, with his undoubted speed and handy timing of his runs ensuring he offers the ball holder a quality outlet.
Adding depth to offensive moves and stretching defences, his presence also crucially opens up room for others to exploit when he successfully pins and draws markers out of shape.
How he shrewdly ventures into the box and enjoys ghosting in at the back post to exploit the blindside of foes to use his dynamic advantage over ball-facing adversaries enhances his scoring menace.
Athletic, physical and with a fierce dedication to improve in his quest to be the best he can be, there’s much room for excitement in the case of Schade, who looks set to keep going from strength to strength under the watchful eye of Frank within what’s an outstanding environment at Brentford. “Kevin is a young player that needs a lot of development but he has shown very good signs of what he is capable of,” Frank said.
“I am convinced he will be a very good player for us in the future. That is who we are. We need to develop players that can go to the next level and hopefully Kevin is one of them.”
A major asset both when starting or coming off the bench, and relishing every chance he gets to prove himself in the Premier League, watching his progress and seeing how he can help his team fill the void left by the suspended Ivan Toney will be captivating.
Disappointingly Schade suffered a nasty leg injury in the warm-up ahead of Brentford’s clash with Everton on the weekend that forced him to miss the fixture. All associated with the club will now anxiously await the results of the scan and be hoping the damage isn’t too severe.
One for now and the future, a breakout season is a distinct possibility if he can continue along on his upward trajectory and keep steadily making the improvement needed to fulfil his immense potential to take his game to the next level.