Real Madrid youth product Omar Mascarell, who played with Luka Jovic at Eintracht Frankfurt, talks exclusively to AS.
In an exclusive interview with AS, Real Madrid youth product Omar Mascarell reflects on a difficult first season at Schalke, who he joined last summer from fellow Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt. The Spanish midfielder, 26, also offers his thoughts on Madrid transfer target Luka Jovic, with whom he shared a dressing room at Eintracht in the 2017/18 campaign.
I feel positive about it. Initially, I struggled to win over the coach [Domenico Tedesco] and things didn’t work out the way I’d hoped. But then there was a change of coach [when Huub Stevens took over from Tedesco in an interim capacity] and everything changed for me. We clicked, and he made it clear from the start that I’d be important – and that was how it turned out. I played every game.
Of course. There are always rumours, but I’m very happy and I know that the club has full confidence in me. By the end of the season I was playing in every game and performing well. I felt Schalke were another step forwards in my career, and I’m still absolutely convinced of that; I’m at one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
It was a tough year, but it is something that we can learn from and I’m sure that next term we’ll see Schalke right back where they belong.
Yeah, I played with him for a season. He wasn’t the first-choice striker at that point, but you could see the ability he had. He was getting more and more game time and doing really well, scoring goals… You could see that he was an ace in the box. He’s a top player.
I would say Jovic is like Luis Suárez, but has much more ability.
He can link up with his team-mates around him, hold the ball up… But I’d say he’s more of a penalty-box operator who is good in the air, is pretty much two-footed, is quick, is strong… If you can get him on the ball in the area, the other team are in trouble.
Yeah. As long as he’s fit and happy, he’s certainly got all the quality he needs [to succeed]. If he’s had this kind of season at Eintracht, with the class of player he’d be surrounded by at Madrid, he could fill his boots.
He’s an easy-going, humble lad… He’s not the kind of guy who goes about looking for attention. He’s a good lad to share a dressing room with. He’s very focused; when you go to a club like Real Madrid, that’s important.
It’s surprised everyone, I think. I’m sure Madrid will have learned from their mistakes and will be back challenging for trophies next season.