Schalke's USA international midfielder Weston McKennie has backed his compatriot and Royal Blue team-mate Haji Wright to kick on after making his full Bundesliga debut on Matchday 13.

Wright got his first taste of top-flight action in a two-minute cameo in Schalke's 5-2 thrashing of Nuremberg last week and, following injuries to fellow strikers Breel Embolo, Mark Uth and Steven Skrzybski, was thrust into the starting line-up for the first time in the 1-1 draw at Hoffenheim on Saturday.

He was a willing runner up front, his physical strength and constant movement keeping the home defence on their toes until he was replaced by Benjamin Stambouli in the 70th minute.

Watch: Weston McKennie on Haji Wright's Schalke prospects

"I believe he did the best he could today," said McKennie of his 20-year-old team-mate. "He's one of the guys that if you keep pushing, keep giving him confidence, you'll see what type of player he is. Hopefully he'll have more opportunities coming up."

With five games to go before the winter break and given Schalke's ongoing injury woes, it appears likely that Schalke boss Domenico Tedesco will continue to give Wright his chance to shine.

The Los Angeles native, who arrived at Schalke from New York Cosmos in 2016, was joined later that year by McKennie in the club's youth academy. After the duo impressed in their debut season in the U19s they were both promoted to the first-team squad at the start of 2017/18.

Wright subsequently went on load to German second division club SV Sandhausen, finding the net once in 15 outings last term, while McKennie has gone on to establish himself as an integral member of both the Schalke side and the senior US national team, his ability to play in a number of positions – from defence all the way through to attack – highly prized by Tedesco.

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