Rabbi Matondo doesn’t feel like he’s nearing a breakout. That’s what’s tripping me up. He’s used rather sparingly and, when he does play, he still feels like he’s a ways off. He’s fast, sure, and he’s determined as all hell, but the end product doesn’t feel as close as I’d like.
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That said, These things are often impossible to predict. Ozan Kabak was not supposed to be as big of a hit as he was as quickly as he was. I mean, it was like flipping a switch. Of course, that’s a bit different than Matondo, but think of Suat Serdar. Serdar gave us no reason to believe he was due for as big of a breakout as he had this year.
Matondo could replicate that. It’s clear that David Wagner wants to get him involved in the first team more. He kept giving him the nod over Ahmed Kutucu when he wanted to change things up at striker, so clearly he sees something he likes. Unfortunately, that hasn’t translated to a lot of minutes, just crucial opportunities that Matondo isn’t exactly capitalizing on.
Next year could change that. As the search for attacking solutions continues, Matondo can alleviate a lot of stress by proving himself a solution all along.