Weston McKennie has made waves in the center of the field since breaking through with Schalke, but manager Dominic Tedesco sees the American prospect as a potential answer in a different position.
Schalke has been experimenting with McKennie at centerback throughout the winter break and recently deployed the young star at the position in a 2-1 friendly win over Belgian side Genk on Sunday. McKennie featured as part of Schalke’s experimental back three setup.
“We’ve been wanting to try him out in central defense for a while,” Tedesco said after the game when asked about McKennie’s new position. “He’s good in the air, strong and up for anything.”
As things stand, the club has Naldo, Pablo Insua and Matija Nastasic as primary centerbacks. Tedesco has had success molding some of Schalke’s other young stars into different positions with Benjamin Stambouli and Max Meyer finding success in new roles.
McKennie has made 14 Bundesliga appearances for the club this season and scored a goal in his U.S. Men’s National Team debut back in November.