Schalke‘s Jonjoe Kenny came to Schalke seeking more first-team opportunities and has quickly made his mark in Germany's top flight. - © imago images / RHR-Foto
Schalke‘s Jonjoe Kenny came to Schalke seeking more first-team opportunities and has quickly made his mark in Germany's top flight. - © imago images / RHR-Foto

Schalke's Jonjoe Kenny: "Philipp Lahm is my role model"


Jonjoe Kenny may not have been in Germany long, but the right-back on loan from English Premier League side Everton has wasted little time in making his mark in the Bundesliga with Schalke.

Kenny joined the Gelsenkirchen club this past summer on a season-long loan from the Toffees, adding his name to a growing list of young English players coming to the Bundesliga.

"The Bundesliga is a good place to be," Kenny said upon arrival. "Young players get a lot of playing time here and can show themselves on the big stage."

In his latest Bundesliga appearance, Kenny endeared himself to the fans of his new club by scoring his first goal for the club to cap of Schalke’s 3-0 win over Hertha Berlin, but he wants that to just be the start. To help him in his quest to shine on the big stage, the 22-year-old has one player in mind whose footsteps he’d like to follow: Philipp Lahm.

Watch: Schalke 3-0 Hertha HIGHLIGHTS!

"He was an all-rounder, could play left, right, in the middle," said Kenny of the World Cup and Champions League-winning former Bayern Munich and Germany captain. "For me, he was always outstanding and the best right-back."

When he was unveiled at the Veltins-Arena, Kenny spoke of a dream to emulate such incredible success and win titles, something he says is very important to him.

"You should always have a positive attitude and set goals," Kenny said.

His aim this season is to help Schalke get "back where they belong" - in European competition. "Schalke is still a huge club. The club has played regularly in Europe, and has a large following. People know Schalke from the Champions League, it's a world club. Now we're concentrating on the league and want to take the next steps."

One of the man reasons why Kenny "couldn't refuse" when Schalke made an offer for his services and, given how quickly he’s found his feet in Gelsenkirchen, his choice has been vindicated.

"From the cooks to the equipment manager to the other players, everyone welcomed me immediately. The fans have also played a big part in making me feel at home here."

Jonjoe Kenny is experiencing playing against the best players in the world week in and week out in the Bundesliga. - 2019 DFL

Kenny attributes part of that feeling of home to the similarities between Gelsenkirchen and his home town of Liverpool.

"In both cities, people work hard and have the same mentality. My mother is a teacher, my father a taxi driver," said Kenny. "They instilled this mentality in me and made my dream possible. This shows that hard work can be worth it."

Fans at the Veltins-Arena can attest that Kenny's hard work is on show for the full 90 minutes, in everything he does. "I love to defend and go forward. Our way of playing therefore suits me very well. There's no better feeling than winning the ball back and then scoring at the other end."

The city fits, the people fit, the playing style fits, could Kenny make Schalke his home after his loan expires and for years to come? "It's still too early for that decision. I don't want to live in the future. Whatever happens, happens. Now I'm definitely giving everything for Schalke."