FC Schalke: Rabbi Matondo has even bigger shoes to fill now

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 are specialists in developing young talent, but that doesn’t make the enormous shoes that Rabbi Matondo has to fill any easier.

FC Schalke always seem to have new, exciting talent coming up the pipeline, and it’s spread across the pitch too, from defense to attack and everything in between. Of course, that also means that there are a healthy amount of elite players who get away too.

Leroy Sane was one of them, and arguably one of the most missed of the past five years. The talented youngster has all the tools to be something special and at just 23-years-old, he just needs the right opportunity.

Meanwhile, Schalke are still waiting for the next Sane-esque player to come up and stamp himself on the world stage. Turns out, that could have been Serge Gnabry, the former Arsenal, now Bayern Munich man.

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Gnabry took a detour to Werder Bremen instead, as his modest €5m price tag was deemed too much by Die Knappen, which is a whole different story.

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The void of Sane moved on and, here we are, three years later, and the shoes still aren’t filled. But that’s okay, right? Because Rabbi Matondo is here.

Matondo carries a tremendous pedigree with him and, in the mean time, he’s got a couple years leeway with which to get to the level of where Leroy Sane was when he first arrived on the scene as well. But it’s not like it’s the age that matters, just the level of ability. I don’t care how old the Sane replacement is, as long he does end up being Sane’s replacement.

That’s one thing though. Those are big enough shoes. The fact that we now know what Gnabry, who’s tearing it up at Bayern, could have filled the role, we’ve essentially made the shoes even more massive for Matondo to fill.

Which is also a compliment to Matondo, because no one else at the club looks as capable of taking care of the business as he does. Now, there’s always a chance someone springs up, but Matondo is here, he’s now, and he’s also the future. Schalke rarely miss a talent, so the fact that so much has been put on his shoulders is further testament that no shoes are too big.

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It’s just a matter of time before Matondo clicks. Whether he is Sane-caliber or not, we will just have to see. But he is Matondo-caliber, and that’s turning out to be something pretty special too.