Jonjoe Kenny has defended his decision to leave Everton and join FC Schalke 04 on loan for the season, as the Bundesliga outfit was the ‘ideal’ place for his development, as told to WAZ.
The Liverpool-born defender had never been a regular on Merseyside, but made 13 first-team appearances last season (TransferMarkt) as the chief alternative to Seamus Coleman and, on occasion, as a makeshift left-back if Lucas Digne or Leighton Baines were unavailable.
Kenny has now started each of Schalke’s opening Bundesliga fixtures since moving to the Veltins Arena in the summer (WhoScored), but is yet to taste a victory with the North Rhine-Westphalia side, now managed by former Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner.
The 22-year-old was also at fault for Bayern Munich’s opening goal last weekend, as he clumsily fouled Kingsley Coman in the penalty area and Robert Lewandowski duly converted from the spot as the Bavarian giant went on to win 3-0.
But Kenny is keen to see his year in Germany as a chance to grow and become the best version of himself, and has pinpointed the presence of Wagner as one of the main reasons why Schalke stood out to him as a suitable loan destination.
“I’m an aggressive player, I like going forward, hating the flanks but I also love defending and tackling,” the England U21 international said. “David Wagner can really make me better, as a player and a person. The experience of living far away from home will also strengthen me. I just want to become the best Jonjoe Kenny I can be.
“I wanted to prove myself somewhere else and push my career. Schalke, this terrific club with these great fans, was ideal. I also knew Wagner from the Premier League. The style he plays fits my aggressive style.”
Should Kenny enjoy a profitable stint in the Bundesliga, he will likely return to Goodison Park and could once again be the understudy to Seamus Coleman, as Schalke do not hold an option to turn the temporary agreement into a permanent deal (Get German Football News).
However, competition for places could be more severe than when he left Merseyside, as AS Monaco’s Djibril Sidibe was lured to Goodison Park this summer on loan, and Everton were able to agree on an option-to-buy the 2018 World Cup winner for next year (L’Equipe) should they so wish.
It is a situation that Kenny is likely aware of, and one that must act as encouragement to him to make his time in Germany as best as it can be, potentially in order to secure a permanent move next summer if Everton trigger their purchase clause in Sidibe’s contract.
If not in the hopes of securing a move elsewhere, Kenny’s efforts under Wagner at the Veltins Arena could help to convince Marco Silva that he has the ability to one day replace Coleman, and he is currently going about that the right way.
The error that led to Robert Lewandowski’s penalty is the only foul Kenny has committed in the Bundesliga thus far, according to data collected by WhoScored, while the 22-year-old has also penned a 75% tackle success rate in the opening weekends of the campaign.
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