Bundesliga club Schalke 04 announced today that they have extended Nick Taitague’s contract. The American midfielder’s new deal, which was set to expire this summer, lasts through June of 2021, with a renewal option through 2023. Taitague, 21, signed with Schalke in 2017 after a brief amateur spell with the Carolina RailHawks.
“Nick joined the club as a huge talent, but has been unlucky with injuries over the past few years,” said Head of Sport Jochen Schneider in a press release. “He’s now got another chance to establish himself in professional football. We believe in Nick and are glad to give him this chance.”
Taitague has dealt with several long-term injuries during his young career. This season, he’s made five appearances with FC Schalke II in the fourth tier Regionalliga West and was included in the club’s winter training camp in Spain. Taitague was recently named “Player of the Tournament” at the Yunnan International Football Tournament with the U-23 side. The Virginia native has been a fixture with the United States youth national team program, appearing for the U-17s, U-18s, and U-20s.
After rapidly rising through the youth ranks, Taitague has been unable to break through at the Bundesliga level, likely due to his many injuries. However, it speaks to his talent level and potential that the club offered an extension instead of letting him leave this upcoming summer. He’s widely considered to be one of the top American prospects of his generation, but eventually he needs to stay healthy and play at the senior level. It remains to be seen whether that will be with Schalke or a different club.