Jonas Carls was loaned to Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal for this season, and he will return to Schalke in the summer. However, the hope of match practice has not come true in Portugal. Since his contract is only dated until 2022, there will be a bigger decision for the next season: Is the club planning the full-back, especially in the second division, or will it be split up?
In the summer of 2017, Jonas Carls moved from 1. FC Nürnberg to Schalke 04’s U23 team at the age of 20. The left-back played 65 games, but his highlight in royal blue came in April 2019. In the middle of the second half of the season In 2018/19, when the Knappen were only barely able to escape relegation, he celebrated his professional debut under Huub Stevens.
Before that, Carls had been in the professional squad one time or another before he was allowed to sniff 90 minutes of Bundesliga air. During the rest of the season he was still part of the team, but he did not come back to work. Just as in the following and now last season, where he had to stand in line behind Bastian Oczipka and loaner Juan Miranda: For the now 24-year-old, he went back to the U23 in the first half of the season, where he was again part of the regular staff.
More experience was planned for the second half of the season: out of the Regionalliga West, into the third division. For Viktoria Köln he played a total of 17 games, he only missed one game. He was in the starting line-up 14 times, while regularly making a very good impression. The goal always in the back of my mind: returning to Schalke.
Since David Wagner did not plan with him last summer, another loan was sought. For the first time in a professional league with a higher level, namely in the Liga NOS (Primeira Liga) in Portugal. The team for the current season: Vitoria Guimaraes. Over the past few years, the team has usually been in the top third of the table, sometimes just behind the international places.
Next to Schalke, the first club where Carls had to assert themselves at a higher level. Well, at the end of the season, it is not a very good conclusion. In the first game he was in the starting line-up and played the full 90 minutes. Unusual for a loaned player, but an even more encouraging start.
However, nothing more followed. The following games he sat on the bench without any further game minutes, in between he was no longer part of the team. In winter, there was a forced break after corona infection. In mid-January he was transferred to the B-Team, the club’s second professional team (!). He continued to train there and had one or the other assignment. He could not play regularly in the league because of the formal qualification for the A-team.
Contrary to all hopes and some wishes, the loan to Portugal was by no means a great success – it has to be said so clearly. The goal of getting important game and competition practice in order to be able to return to Gelsenkirchen strengthened has not been fulfilled to that extent.
Jonas Carls will not be able to return home to the miners in the summer after being significantly strengthened. His chance of catching a certain role in the coming season would not have been bad at all. On the one hand, Schalke will break up with Bastian Oczipka, whose contract, according to various media reports, is not valid in the 2nd Bundesliga. Whether or not Sead stays Kolasinac is another question the answer to which is likely to come down to a ‘no’.
Means: As of now, the club – next to young player Kerim Calhanoglu – only had one left-back in the squad. Carls himself. Hamza Mendyl, whose working paper runs until 2023, excluded. It should continue to be sold urgently – should the validity of the paper be guaranteed at all.
Since Schalke cannot throw money around despite the necessary squad restructuring, the returning full-back should have good cards to at least take second fiddle in his position.
There will probably be a new left-back, there is a need for more supplies. However, the plan of sports director Peter Knäbel is to fill the club and the team with more people from the area, with more feeling for royal blue. Carls was born in Haan, just over 30 kilometers as the crow flies from Gelsenkirchen. The Ruhr area is his home, he wore royal blue for several years.
So it is quite conceivable that – despite the mixed loan from Portugal – he will get a chance (on a smaller role). Whether he will accept it and try to assert himself is another aspect. If he is given this option, it would probably be assumed.
It is difficult to judge whether he will be able to help with the targeted recovery in terms of performance. His only professional game cannot be assessed on the one hand, and on the other hand an expression of the lack of experience so far. For Viktoria Köln he delivered very confidently and recommended himself for larger tasks, but the starting position and the expectations for the new season would be different. With several games for Guimaraes, an assessment would have been much easier.
In summary, however, it can be said that the chances of the opportunity to stay at Schalke could look worse for Jonas Carls. In comparison, this is less due to him and the current season than to the uncertain and complicated situation of the S04 – but this glimmer of hope remains. Physically, however, the 24-year-old has been able to improve recently, not a bad development for the second division and a sign of great motivation.