Rabbi Matondo has made three senior appearances for Schalke since leaving Manchester City. - © imago/Pakusch
Rabbi Matondo has made three senior appearances for Schalke since leaving Manchester City. - © imago/Pakusch
bundesliga

Former Manchester City youth player Rabbi Matondo: "It's been easy to adapt at Schalke"

Welsh teenager Rabbi Matondo says he is "settling well" at Schalke after making his full Bundesliga debut in the goalless draw with Freiburg on Saturday.

It was Matondo's second start since joining Schalke from English Premier League club Manchester City during the winter transfer window. He also began the recent DFB Cup win over Fortuna Düsseldorf, days after appearing in the Bundesliga for the first time, as a substitute in a 2-0 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The 18-year-old winger had not played a minute of first-team football at club level prior to his move to Gelsenkirchen, but says his decision to leave England for Germany has been fully vindicated.

"The lads are great, the manager has been good," Matondo told bundesliga.com following his starting debut. "Everyone has been good, the physios, the kit men, staff, everyone. They've been good to me.

"It has been easy to adapt away from home, but this is what I wanted. I was ready and willing to do anything to get settled in quick and just get underway. I got some good minutes today - hopefully I can just keep going and push on from that."

Watch: Rabbi Matondo settling well at Schalke

Matondo was on the pitch for 89 minutes at the Veltins-Arena before being replaced by Jeffrey Bruma. He put in more intensive runs (80) and sprints (24) than any of his teammates as both sides ended the contest with ten men.

Although the result leaves Schalke down in 14th place, 11 points adrift of the European places, Matondo saw plenty of positives in the Royal Blues' performance.

"A red card, ten men, I know it's a good result in terms of us not losing, but I thought we could have gone on and won it," the Wales international explained. "But the way we fought in the second half, I feel we can go on and do much more."

Rabbi Matondo's only first-team playing experience before Schalke had come in an international friendly for Wales. - imago/Pakusch

Matondo is the fourth Brit under the age of 21 to play in the Bundesliga in 2018/19, after Reece Oxford (20, Augsburg), Reiss Nelson (19, Hoffenheim) and Jadon Sancho (18, Borussia Dortmund), and follows Mark Hughes, Wayne and Dean Thomas as only the fourth Welshman in history to make an appearance at Germany's top table.