Jadon Sancho isn’t the sole young winger who quit Manchester City for the Bundesliga due to a perceived lack of first-team opportunities.
Rabbi Matondo followed his former youth team-mate in making the move to Germany last year, signing for Schalke for a fee believed to be around £11m.
As with Sancho, it didn’t take long for Matondo’s decision to be justified. Schalke coach David Wagner soon regarded the teenager as a key member of his squad.
And now Matondo’s success in Germany has seen him tipped as a left-field alternative to Sancho should long-term admirers Manchester United be priced out of a move for the britain international this summer.
However, the 19-year-old could also catch the attention of champions-elect Liverpool, who are reportedly within the marketplace for attackers.
RB Leipzig centre-forward Timo Werner has been the topic of many transfer speculation concerning a move to Anfield, and it’s easy to ascertain why Liverpool would have an interest during a striker who has scored 21 times in 26 league appearances this season.
But Jurgen Klopp might still struggle to suit Werner into his starting line-up, then it’d add up to focus on a younger player who could use the mentorship of the likes of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah to grow and develop within the future .
This is where the Liverpool-born Matondo could fit the bill.
He is often compared to Sancho, for obvious reasons, but Matondo may be a very different sort of wide man.
While Sancho is an attacking all-rounder, capable of scoring together with his left or right foot, and from the left or right, or through the center , Matondo is more of a standard winger, a speed merchant.
Sancho has averaged 2.5 dribbles per Bundesliga match this season and three per match within the Champions League, consistent with stats website WhoScored.com.
By contrast, Matonda has averaged only one dribble per league outing. What’s more, he averages 1.1 shots on goal per game, while Sancho has charted 1.9 per game.
The Football Whispers website says Matondo completes quite 50% of the take-ons he attempts and creates 1.04 chances per 90 minutes.
He focuses the bulk of his energy on the attacking side of the sport , and may be wont to devastating effect, as Wagner has proved at Schalke this season.
By almost every measure, Sancho has outperformed Matondo this season, but that’s to not say the Welsh international isn’t an exciting prospect.
He would also come far cheaper than the Dortmund man, and in Liverpool’s case there’s reason to believe he would fit into their squad without rocking the boat an excessive amount of .
Between Firmino, Mane and Salah, Klopp already has the right attacking balance, but Matondo could still offer something different.
His pace and skill to run at opponents could open up space for others around him. If Takumi Minamino was signed in January for his ability with the sport ahead of him, Matondo might be useful for the way he’s ready to leave the sport behind him.
He won’t be Werner or Sancho, but the Welshman could still be just what Klopp needs.
Source : liverpoolecho.co.uk