Bundesliga

Amine Harit: The second coming of the Bundesliga’s Rookie of the Year

Just five games into the 2019/20 Bundesliga season, Schalke have looked rejuvenated under coach David Wagner and no one seems to be enjoying his new lease of life more than Amine Harit.

Having joined Schalke from Nantes ahead of the 2017/18 campaign, Harit made a brilliant start to life in the Bundesliga with some dynamic displays in the attacking third.

Schalke’s excitement machine Amine Harit makes electric start to Bundesliga season

Despite it being his debut year – and at just the age of 20 – he recorded 31 league appearances in total and notched three goals and seven assists to deservingly win the competition’s Rookie of the Year award, beating the likes of Jadon Sancho, Benjamin Parvard, Sebastien Haller and Dan-Axel Zagadou in the process.

But, while the others from the class of 2017/18 surged on the following season, Harit’s form dipped and it coincided with a slump in Schalke’s fortunes as they went from runners-up to relegation candidates, ultimately finishing 14th and just five points off the drop zone.

At his best, Harit is one of the Bundesliga’s most-exciting talents.

Determined to make a revival, Schalke handed ex-Huddersfield manager David Wagner the reins over the summer and already their prospects for the new season look brighter.

A tricky start to the campaign resulted in a draw and defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayern Munich respectively, but Die Konigsblauen have since won three games in a row as the sun looks to be shining once more at the Veltins-Arena.

And no one has been more pivotal in Schalke’s resurgence than Harit, who is edging ever closer to the form that saw him feature at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Morocco.

Usually starting out left but given license by Wagner to roam freely in the final third, the 22-year-old has emerged as his team’s main attacking threat and is proving impossible to handle for opposition defences.

He netted twice to inspire Schalke to a 5-1 rout of Paderborn a fortnight ago, before scoring a superb individual effort with just a minute remaining to help them beat Mainz 2-1 in dramatic fashion last Friday.

Despite not being the focal point of the Schalke attack, Harit is presently their top scorer and is second-highest in the entire competition for sprints (146) and intensive runs (442) only behind Dortmund star Sancho and team-mate Guido Burgstaller respectively.

There is no question over the Moroccan’s talent although he has shown impressive resilience to bounce back from a difficult year and return to what he does best on the field.

If his start to 2019/20 is anything to go by, the second coming of Amine Harit might even be more exciting than the first.

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