FC Schalke: Rabbi Matondo can be British Weston McKennie

Schalke's Rabbi Matondo (Photo by Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Schalke's Rabbi Matondo (Photo by Guido Kirchner/picture alliance via Getty Images) /

FC Schalke found padded their American connection when they raised Weston McKennie, now we need Rabbi Matondo to do the same for Great Britain.

There are two things the Bundesliga does incredibly well. They give youth players a chance, and they leave no market untapped. It is by far the most American-friendly European football market, and FC Schalke have tapped into that many times in the past, though Weston McKennie is the biggest success there.

It’s lead to FC Schalke’s growing presence in a suddenly soccer-conscious United States. It’s also worked like Christian Pulisic worked for Borussia Dortmund.

Dortmund tapped into that British fanbase when they provided the outlet that Jadon Sancho needed for his playing career. Now, FC Schalke can do the same with Rabbi Matondo.

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Using ‘darling’ players from countries with huge fanbases is a much bigger part of the game than often gets credit, and while FC Schalke have undoubtedly benefited from McKennie’s Americanness, they haven’t been able to establish much of a presence in the British Islands.

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Rabbi Matondo took the exact same path as Sancho, growing up in the Manchester City system before breaking away and moving to Borussia Dormtund, where he was quickly adapted into the first-team as a 17 year old and proved to be one of the best young talents in the world.

By that standard, Matondo is a little bit behind the curve, but the path to stardom can be the same, and can reap similar results for his club as they tap into a fanbase that would otherwise find their interest elsewhere. Jonjoe Kenny can do similar, if we can secure him longterm, as is always the case, goal-scorers will pull more acclaim across the board, no matter what.

That’s Rabbi Matondo.

And that’s Weston McKennie, just to a different base. Weston McKennie has been the poster child of FC Schalke for years now, and it hasn’t just been because of his outstanding talent and exuberant outspokenness. It’s also because of the convenience of his nationality. There is so much untapped potential for establishing a loyal fan base in America, and while most British fans are spoken for, most also live for the sport and will find room in their heart for more than one club to follow. At least at a distance.

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It all starts with performances on the pitch, though. Matondo hasn’t been used consistently enough yet for him to start that Sancho-esque, McKennie-esque path, but time is on his side.