This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Everton have struggled immensely on the defensive front this season, with the club now conceding 13 goals in just eight games and failing to keep a clean sheet since their win over Watford almost two months ago.
To add to their defensive woes, Seamus Coleman saw red in the defeat against Burnley, which has now left the right-back spot a little slim on options. Marco Silva did bring in Djibril Sidibe this summer on a season-long loan from Monaco after the former Watford boss sent Jonjoe Kenny to Germany to learn his trade with Schalke 04.
Sidibe came on in the 59th minute at Turf Moor for what was his first Premier League outing for the Blues, and with Coleman suspended, the Frenchman has a chance to take the right-back slot for the future. However, in current form, Kenny is more deserving of this spot and letting him go out on loan may turn out to be a big mistake.
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The 22-year-old burst onto the scene under Sam Allardyce, making 19 Premier League appearances in the 2017-18 season, providing two assists along the way. Once again, Kenny has proved himself as a brilliant right-back this year, playing every minute of Schalke’s league campaign as the German side sit sixth in the Bundesliga.
The Liverpudlian has provided two assists as of now and has even pitched in with a goal, whilst conceding seven times in a solid defence for the Royal Blues. This means Kenny has conceded one less goal than champions Bayern Munich and just one more than the leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach. Compare this to Everton’s 13 let in, and there isn’t much of a competition between himself and the current Toffees right-backs, especially considering Kenny’s creative output as well.
To further add to the Evertonian’s great start to life in Germany, he also won the August Rookie of the Month in the Bundesliga at a time when Everton were quickly slipping towards the drop zone.
Not just is the Schalke loanee proving his worth more than Sidibe at the moment, but he is also outshining Coleman as well. However, regardless, it is monumental chance missed for Kenny to take the right-back slot and make it his own for his boyhood club. Perhaps it’s examples like this that managers should consider before letting their young stars leave so easily.