Schalke's Everton-owned defender Jonjoe Kenny wouldn't be the first Bundesliga Rookie of the Month winner to play for England. - © 2019 DFL
Schalke's Everton-owned defender Jonjoe Kenny wouldn't be the first Bundesliga Rookie of the Month winner to play for England. - © 2019 DFL

Jonjoe Kenny: Schalke's future England international right-back?

Jonjoe Kenny has been named the Bundesliga's Rookie of the Month for August, adding weight to Schalke coach David Wagner's assertion that the Everton loanee is one of the club's "signings of the summer". Could a call-up to the senior England international team be just around the corner for the Liverpudlian?

England coach Gareth Southgate has no shortage of options at right-back.

Trent John Alexander-Arnold won the UEFA Champions League with Liverpool last season; Kieran Trippier reached the final before swapping Tottenham Hotspur for Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid; Kyle Walker plays under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City; and Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka commanded a fee of £50m at just 21 years old.

Between them, the aforementioned quartet have played in some 482 top-flight matches and earned 72 senior international caps.

Kenny, on the other hand, featured in 31 Premier League matches for parent club Everton between 2017 and 2019 and - like Wan-Bissaka - is yet to make it past the England U21s.

But if he was wading through career treacle with the Toffees, his professional life has come unstuck at Schalke.

Watch: Jonjoe Kenny's first Bundesliga goal was one to savour!

Kenny, 22, has started and finished all three of Schalke's games in the Bundesliga so far this season - that's 270 top-flight minutes in the bag with no questions asked.

It took him almost three years to reach the same number in the Premier League as an Everton player, and is over a third more than he was granted by the Merseyside outfit over the entire course of the 2018/19 league campaign.

The results have been mixed from a team perspective - the Royal Blues drew 0-0 with Borussia Mönchengladbach and lost 3-0 to defending champions Bayern Munich before breaking their duck in a 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin - but Kenny has reeled in the plaudits.

"You didn't tell me you could strike a ball like that!" Schalke coach David Wagner is delighted to be able to call Kenny one of his own. - imago images / eu-images

Defensively, the 56-time England youth international has won 60 per cent of his aerial challenge - not half bad for a 5'8" full-back - and hit the money with 79 per cent of his attempted passes.

Offensively, he has whipped over 14 crosses - putting him in the top three league wide, not to mention outdoing Bayern's prototypical right-back, Joshua Kimmich, by four - while he's the only Schalke player to score in the Bundesliga this term. Two of their three efforts against Hertha were own goals.

It is little wonder Wagner rates the Everton cast-off so highly.

"[Jonjoe] played against us when we played Everton, I followed the England U21s for a long period as well, the England U19s and U20s too when he played for them," Wagner told The Independent, having observed his now go-to man in the right-back position whilst in charge of Huddersfield Town.

"I had a good picture of Jonjoe and, after I joined Schalke, we all together agreed that we had to sign a right-back. As soon as I found that we were not able to afford someone to buy because of our financial restrictions, Jonjoe was one of the first names I put on the table when I discussed with our board. Luckily, they agreed to try to sign him and luckily he decided to join our football club.

"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."

Bundesliga fans and an esteemed panel of experts must have shared Wagner's glowing appraisal.

Jadon Sancho's pro career has taken off since he moved to Borussia Dortmund from Manchester City at 17. - 2019 Getty Images

Nominated alongside Wolfsburg newcomer Xaver Schlager and Augsburg summer acquisition Ruben Vargas, Kenny claimed the Bundesliga's Rookie of the Month award for August.

Among the accolade's previous winners is Jadon Sancho, who scooped the prize in February 2018, little over halfway through his maiden season in the Bundesliga.

Eighteen months down the line, the former Manchester City youth player is one outing shy of his Bundesliga half century, leads Lionel Messi in the Europe-wide assists charts and is an eight-time England international.

Jonjoe Kenny has certainly been playing with a smile on his face since joining Schalke. - imago images / RHR-Foto

Needless to say Kenny was not going to pass up the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of a player who hadn't even kicked a ball professionally, let alone turned out for his country, prior to his permanent move to Borussia Dortmund on deadline day in August 2017.

“When you see what Jadon Sancho has been doing in the Bundesliga since joining Dortmund, it's astonishing," Kenny told after making the temporary switch to Schalke in July. "Even at his age, he has achieved great things and managed to become one of the biggest stars of English football.

"The Bundesliga can be a good step for young Englishmen."

Three Bundesliga games and a Rookie of the Month gong into his adventure, Kenny has his feet firmly on the ladder.

Gary Neville was one of the most dependable and long-serving defenders in English football history, winning 85 England caps and appearing 598 times for Manchester United.

Schalke might just be moulding his long-term successor.

Chris Mayer-Lodge