This article is part of Football FanCast’s Loan Watch series, which takes a closer look at those players who are aiming to galvanise their careers away from the spotlight of their parent club.
Everton have struggled defensively this season and sit in 16th, just two points off the relegation zone. Marco Silva’s men have let in 16 goals in just 10 games so far, making them the joint third-worst defensive side in the Premier League.
Right-back is far from a problem position for the club with both Seamus Coleman and Djibril Sidibe available to Silva, but he will surely be keeping a close eye on Jonjoe Kenny’s time at Schalke with the prospect of a 2020 breakthrough in his mind.
The Liverpudlian burst onto the scene under Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce in 2017-18, making 19 Premier League appearances that season and providing two assists. Two seasons on, Kenny is showing his brilliance in the Bundesliga.
Schalke manager David Wagner is a huge fan of his and told The Independent (via Bundesliga.com): “I can tell you what, he’s already close to becoming a fan favourite here in our stadium. He’s done an amazing job so far and scored a wonderful goal against [Hertha] Berlin. He’s, for sure, one of the best signings which we have made this summer.”
Not only has Kenny received praise from his manager, he has also won the Rookie of the Month for August in the Bundesliga and was again nominated for the award in September.
It is no surprise to see the 22-year-old earning such praise when he has started all nine Bundesliga games, registering a goal and two assists along the way.
Watching Kenny perform so well will give Everton fans hope for the future, as Coleman is now 31 and may not have long left at Goodison Park. Also, Sidibe is only on loan from Monaco, which means the right-back slot could be his for the taking next season if the Toffees decide against making his deal permanent.
This story is yet another example of a British talent flourishing abroad and it’s a trend that suggests managers should trust these players and used them more often.
Kenny may have to wait until next campaign to fully make his mark on Merseyside, but his early success in Germany suggests he could be ready to succeed Coleman in 2020.