Schalke have signed one of British football’s most exciting talents in Rabbi Matondo. The 18-year-old Wales international has joined the Royal Blues from English Premier League club Manchester City, following in the footsteps of former City teammate Jadon Sancho in taking the Bundesliga plunge.
The fastest player at Man City and a Wales international - find out more on Schalke's newest recruit...
Country: Wales (one senior cap)
Without making a first-team appearance at club level, Matondo has already become a senior international with Wales. The teenager made a 12-minute cameo in a friendly against Albania in November 2018 after impressing with Manchester City’s U23 team.
He scored 11 goals in 31 appearances for the U23s, collecting five assists along the way. This season alone in the English Premier League 2, Matondo has scored six goals and added four assists in 11 outings.
Plays a bit like: Leroy Sane
The only striking difference between Matondo and Leroy Sane is that Matondo is right-footed. The Welshman’s frightening pace brings back immediate memories of Sane, who made the opposite move to Matondo when joining Manchester City from Schalke in the summer of 2016. His pace is so scary, in fact, that he clocked the fastest time over 20 metres of all his City teammates, including Sane.
Matondo is not one for showboating or flaunting tricky skills, however. The Liverpool-born winger pushes the ball ahead of himself and defenders and lets his legs do the talking. In the final third, the teen is a step ahead of the rest, with decision-making more akin to former City youth player Sancho, now lighting up the Bundesliga flanks, down the road from Schalke, at Borussia Dortmund.
Did you know?
City manager Pep Guardiola is reported to be a huge admirer of Matondo and, following a run of impressive performances for City's reserves, included him in a number of first-team training sessions prior to his Schalke move.
What they’re saying
"He's a very exciting player because he's an attacker and extremely quick, with that ability to beat defenders. He's worked under Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta [at Manchester City], so it will be interesting to see what he does next." – Wales assistant manager Osian Roberts
"He's extremely quick and good technically, but we mustn't forget he's still very young. That's why we'll give him the time he needs to find his feet at Schalke and in the Bundesliga." - Schalke coach Domenico Tedesco