When Pep Guardiola comes out to extoll a player’s virtues, it is usually well-deserved. The Catalan manager is not one to withhold praise from a player that has distinguished himself on and off the pitch.
That was the case in a recent interview where he had nothing but good things to say about Rabbi Matondo who has been the subject of transfer speculations in the past several months.
Approximately 18 months after the departure of Jadon Sancho for the Bundesliga, Matondo, another Man City youngster has left the Etihad Stadium for Germany. The 18-year-old has joined Bundesliga side Schalke in a £10 million deal. This is despite City’s attempt to renew the player’s contract which was due to expire at the end of the summer.
Die Königsblauen, who are City’s next opponents in the Champions League have been in hot pursuit of the player who has been capped once by Wales at international level. Not only did the club express their excitement in the completion of the deal, the winger was also elated. He spoke after joining the club.
”Before coming here I already knew a bit about Schalke: Mesut Ozil, Ivan Rakitic and Leroy Sane all took big steps in their careers here,” Matondo said.
”As well as that, I had some good chats with the coach and my new team-mates only had good things to say. The Bundesliga is a great league too.
”Schalke is the right decision for my career and I’m happy to now be a part of this club and their future plans,” he concluded.
The youngster is apparently hoping to replicate Jadon Sancho’s exploits in a league that has become famous for giving young players a chance to feature regularly. At the moment, top German sides seem to be in a competition to snap up the next generation of superstars groomed in the Premier League.
Bayern Munich has been in a tug of war with Chelsea over the transfer of another young prospect Callum Hudson-Odoi. But the Blues stood their ground refusing to let go of their prized possession even for £40 million. Arsenal’s Reiss Nelson has been on loan at Hoffenheim where he has impressed. Everton’s Ademola Lookman was the subject of a bid from RB Leipzig last summer after completing a loan deal at the Bundesliga side. Refusing to be denied, young Arsenal forward Emile Smith Rowe has been snapped up on loan by the side at the close of the January transfer window.
For City, it is hoped that the brightest young academy graduates are kept to contribute to the club’s future success.