After month upon month of high-school exam prep, the summer break cannot come soon enough for the majority of 16-year-olds. Some use the opportunity to unwind, others delve into the world of work. Matthew Bondswell joined RB Leipzig.
It's little over a year since Bondswell swapped England for Germany - but who is he and how is he getting on? bundesliga.com investigates...
Club: RB Leipzig
Country: England (4 U18 caps)
Bondswell was still awaiting his senior debut when he joined Leipzig from English outfit Nottingham Forest in summer 2018. The then England U16 international was already being talked up as one of the best young defenders of his year group following some eye-catching performances for club and country in 2017/18. Forest certainly didn't want him to leave, but he turned down their offer of a professional deal at the City Ground, as well as reported interest from record English Premier League champions Manchester United in favour a move to Leipzig.
Bondswell hasn't been disappointed. He made 23 appearances in his debut season with the Leipzig U17s, including 21 starts. As well as operating in is customary left-back role, he also moonlighted at centre-half on a couple of occasions. After playing for the England U17s at the UEFA U17 Euros, the 6'0" left-footer made the step up to his country's U18s, making his debut in a 3-2 friendly win over Australia, aged 17 years, four months and 19 days. Currently part of the Leipzig U19s, he has featured regularly in 2019/20, playing in the A-Junioren Bundesliga and UEFA Youth League. The youngster is yet to score for the German club, but does have a pair of assists to his name.
Plays a bit like: David Alaba
With a God-given athleticism, cultured left foot and a malleability that has allowed him to play left-back, in the centre of defence and on the left-hand side of midfield, Bondswell could prove to be Leipzig's answer to Bayern Munich all-rounder, David Alaba.
Did you know?
Bondswell could have quite easily opted for spikes over studs, having won a silver medal in the triple jump at the English Schools Track and Field Championships in the summer of 2017, taken gold in the same discipline at country and schools level and represented Nottinghamshire Schools at 200m.