He is the latest in an ever-growing list of young English talents looking to make their names in the Bundesliga and it has not taken Jonjoe Kenny long to shine.
On loan from Everton for the entire 2019/20 campaign, Kenny has started in all four of Schalke’s matches thus far as the Gelsenkirchen outfit aim to revive their fortunes following a disappointing 14th-place finish last term.
The arrival of David Wagner as coach already looks to be making a difference, but the former Huddersfield boss’ familiarity with the Premier League and what it has to offer has also proven handy with his temporary acquisition of Kenny.
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The 22-year-old has started all four of Die Konigsblauen’s league matches so far, and already has a goal to his name with a fine strike against Hertha Berlin.
Looking every bit a modern day full-back, Kenny described himself: “[I’m an] aggressive type of player.
“I like to make tackles [and] challenges but I also love to play football – getting forward and trying to assist and make crosses for the team.”
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Germany and England may be two different countries with vastly contrasting cultures, but the similarities between his hometown of Liverpool and his current port-of-call in Gelsenkirchen has made it easier for Kenny to acclimatise.
“Right now it’s been brilliant,” explained the England U-21 international. “At first of course it was going to be difficult.
You know, changing countries, different way of life, but now I think it’s been a great decision to come here.
“[It’s] very similar. Liverpool’s a working class city and so is it here in Schalke. I’m from a working-class background so it’s similar – it’s like home [away] from home.”
Kenny has certainly endeared himself to the Veltins-Arena faithful and perhaps even to the wider Bundesliga audience, especially having previously identified German icon Philipp Lahm as his role model.
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) September 19, 2019
He is certainly following in the footsteps of a certain Jadon Sancho, who has really paved the way for his fellow Englishmen to move over to Germany and earn their stripes.
“I think you can see the young English players who are coming over here are doing very well,” added Kenny.
“You’ve got Jadon Sancho who’s doing fantastic. Last season you had Reiss Nelson who was here [with Hoffenheim] and he’s now gone back to Arsenal. He’s also done very well here.”
Having already made 31 league appearances for Everton in the past four years, Kenny is highly-rated at Goodison Park and should be back challenging for a first-team berth next summer.
Yet, considering how quickly and well he has adapted to life at Schalke, perhaps he might even be tempted to move to the Bundesliga permanently.