By Peter Vice @ViceytheSS
Recent SC Freiburg riser and new German national team player Kevin Schade, meanwhile, spoke on his previous club in an interview appearing in the Monday print edition of German footballing magazine Kicker.
An eventful week for SC Freiburg defender Tan-Kenneth Jerico Leka-Schmidt (“Kenneth Schmidt”) continues. The 20-year-old celebrated his professional debut for his club on Thursday in Freiburg’s Europa League encounter against Juventus. Some three days later, Schmidt made his Bundesliga debut for Christian Streich’s Breisgauer in the Sunday league draw with Mainz.
Some personnel maneuvering among the tightly-knit senior and junior German national teams now means that Schmidt has already received his first call-up to the country’s highest youth level. A shoulder injury forced former VfL Bochum and current FC Southampton defender Armel Bella Kotchap to withdraw from Bundestrainer Hansi Flick’s Nationalmannschaft. Germany U21 central defender Malick Thiaw was called up as a replacement.
Germany U21 head-coach Antonio di Salvo actually found himself in need of two defenders after Augsburg’s Maximilian Bauer also had to bow out with injury. SpVgg Greuther Fürth fullback Simon Asta and Schmidt were confirmed as the replacements on Monday. A promising path opens up for the highly-touted young prospect; one not unlike fellow SCF academy graduate Kevin Schade.
Schade himself conducted an interview with journalist Carsten Schröter-Lorenz of Germany’s preeminent footballing publication over the weekend. The 21-year-old is technically on-loan with London’s Brentford F.C., but generally regarded to be a permanent Premiership player now after a rumored automatic purchase clause is triggered in his loan contract.
Schade noted that there were clear similarities between the only two clubs he’s represented professionally in his young career. Born in Potsdam, Schade was courted by the Freiburg academy before going professional. When it came to the most important contribution Freiburg made to his career, the Berliner cited the factor of “time”.
“Brentford is similar to what Freiburg was maybe three years ago,” Schade noted, “They bring in young players to develop them, but they also give them time. I was in Freiburg for a long time. Calmness, a down-to-earth attitude, and serenity are exemplified there.”
Schade even revealed that, dealing with injury recuperation last year, he deeply appreciated the patience Freiburg showed with him on his road to recovered. The player noted that he did have the desire to remain in Breisgau in order to rehabilitate in peace when Brentford first began courting him last summer.
“But they didn’t give up,” Schade remarked with something of a chuckle, “Ironically enough, Freiburg’s success was great but not great for me.”
Schade has played nine of ten competitive fixtures for the Bees since moving to West London. He’s earned one start and pocketed one assist. The scorer of four goals for the Germany U21s will get his first chance to make an impression at the senior German national team level under Hansi Flick in the current international break.
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