Everton-owned England U21 international Jonjoe Kenny cannot wait to get stuck in at Schalke. - © imago
Everton-owned England U21 international Jonjoe Kenny cannot wait to get stuck in at Schalke. - © imago

"I couldn't say no to Schalke!" - Everton loanee Jonjoe Kenny


England U21 international right-back Jonjoe Kenny has opened up about his decision to join Schalke on a season-long loan from Everton, saying the prospect of following in the footsteps of Leroy Sane and Raul was too big an opportunity to turn down.

"I couldn't say 'no'," Kenny told schalke.tv, having previously spent loan spells with lower-tier English outfits Wigan Athletic and Oxford United. "Some huge players like [Leroy] Sane and Raul have played here. I couldn't believe such a big club with so much history would be interested in me.

"To be at such a big club like Schalke will mean that I will become a better footballer. To be away from home will mean that I will develop as a person as well."

Kenny has represented England at every youth level from the U16s through to the U21s. - imago images / Uk Sports Pics Ltd

After making 14 competitive appearances last season - including nine in the Premier League -  22-year-old Kenny reportedly turned down a number of offers from English clubs in order to further his career in the Bundesliga. The defender says new Schalke coach David Wagner was integral to his decision: "The way he gets his team to play football, I like it. It is my way of playing."

Elaborating on the type of player he is, Kenny said: "I'm an aggressive player. I like to get forward and be around the opposition box. I love tackling, and I always give it my all. I can't do much more than that."

Liverpool-born Kenny also believes working-class Gelsenkirchen - Germany's old mining hub - will be to his tastes. "The people live and breathe football here," he explained. "It's similar to where I come from. I can't wait to get started!"

Kenny could become the 16th Englishman to play in the Bundesliga, after the likes of Everton teammate Ademola Lookman, who spent the second half of the 2017/18 season on loan at RB Leipzig, and 2018/19 assist king Jadon Sancho, who has become a full England international since swapping Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund in summer 2017.