FC Schalke 04 boss David Wagner has been full of lavish praise for Jonjoe Kenny, hailing the Everton defender as one of their best summer signings after he joined the Bundesliga outfit on loan, as told to I News.
Wagner had identified recruiting a new right-sided defender as a priority position upon his arrival at the Veltins Arena, but could not target permanent deals due to Die Konigsblauen’s financial situation.
Kenny had struggled to secure a regular role for himself at Goodison Park over the past few seasons, and saw his minutes awarded in the Premier League practically half following Marco Silva’s arrival (TransferMarkt).
Wagner, though, was already a fan of what the Liverpool-born defender is capable of, having followed England’s youth teams closely and facing the 22-year-old twice while in charge of Huddersfield Town.
Kenny’s efforts under Wagner’s attentive gaze left him in no doubt that the Blues product had to be a candidate worth considering, and was glad the right-back and the Schalke board agreed.
“He played against us [Huddersfield] when we played Everton, [and] I followed the England Under 21s for a long period as well, the England Under 19s and Under 20s too when he played for them,” Wagner told I News.
“I had a good picture of Jonjoe and, after I joined Schalke, we all together agreed that we had to sign a right-back. As soon as I found that we were not able to afford someone to buy because of our financial restrictions, Jonjoe was one of the first names I put on the table when I discussed [targets] with our board. Luckily, they agreed to try to sign him and luckily he decided to join our football club.
“I can tell you what, he is already close to becoming a fan favourite here in our stadium. He has done an amazing job so far and scored a wonderful goal against [Hertha] Berlin. He is, for sure, one of the best signings which we have made this summer.”
Wagner’s praise of Kenny could be the first warning to Everton that the German may look to recruit the £4.5million-rated (TransferMarkt) right-back permanently next summer, should Schalke’s financial outlook differ in a positive light from this years and open the door to a transfer being struck.
The 22-year-old may also look positively on prolonging his time at the Veltins Arena beyond a one-season loan spell, having featured for the full ninety-minutes in each competitive fixture available to date and scoring his first goal with a well-timed hit against Hertha Berlin.
Kenny’s role at Goodison Park has already been replaced in part by the arrival of Djibril Sidibe on a loan-to-buy deal from AS Monaco (L’Equipe), too, although Everton are not thought to have granted Schalke the same future clause (Get German Football News) in their temporary arrangement.
Everton fans, would you be frustrated if Marcel Brands and Silva were to grant Schalke the green light to sign a product of your academy? Let us know in the comments below…
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