Michel Bastos is set to make his Schalke debut in tomorrow's clash with Greuther Furth only days after arriving in Gelsenkirchen.
The Frenchman was brought in as soon as Lewis Holtby's move to Tottenham went through, and Schalke coach Jens Keller feels he is ready to be thrown in at the deep end.
``He is physically top fit, which is why I can well imagine him starting against Furth,'' said Keller.
Bastos, who has joined on an 18-month loan deal from Lyon, would form a new-look midfield partnership with Jermaine Jones, who is available again after suspension.
``Jermaine is an important player for us when he shows all of his quality,'' added Keller, who is expecting a tough game against the bottom side in the league.
``We certainly won't under-estimate Furth.
``We know what to expect. We are probably going to need lots of patience, but one thing's for sure, we want to win this game in front of our own fans.''
Furth are led by Mike Buskens, part of Schalke's 1997 UEFA Cup-winning side, but there will be no room for sentimentality at the Arena AufSchalke.
``We have got to take on this challenge together and everybody has got to be there for each other, only then can you have a chance,'' he said.
``I see things every day which give me optimism, which is the way the team is training.''
Furth are desperate for points after starting the new year with back-to-back defeats to remain rooted to the foot of the table, now four points adrift of their nearest rivals.
Schalke are sixth in the standings on 29 points, four behind the Champions League spots.