If reports in England are to be believed, they have identified an alternative for Sancho if they miss out on his signature and the player they are said to be watching is Schalke wonderkid Rabbi Matondo. Here, we will take a look at the 19-year-old Liverpool boy who could be on his way back to Manchester next summer.
He followed Sancho’s path
Born in Liverpool, Matondo came through the ranks of Cardiff City before getting his big move to Manchester City in 2016. And just like Sancho, he decided that he was ready to play first-team football and followed his former academy teammate Sancho to Germany.
In January 2019, he signed for Schalke for a whooping £11 million and the move has certainly worked for him as he has made his name among the biggest talents in Europe already and has also become a mainstay in the Wales national team managed by Ryan Giggs.
A versatile attacker
Matondo is a versatile player who can feature on either flank as well as a striker. With his pace to burn and amazing ability on the ball, he is a nightmare to any defender. The 19-year-old might be still a raw talent who needs refinement and polishing, but he has already shown that he is capable of reaching the top.
In a Manchester United side that mostly relies on pacey players like Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial up front, Matondo would be a very useful addition and that too on a decent price, unlike Sancho who could cost them more than £100 million.
Blessed with his an explosive pace, the Welshman can outrun most defenders and that his certainly his biggest strength. The teenage sensation has attempted 2.81 take-ons per 90 minutes this season in Bundesliga and 1.48 of those have resulted in success which shows that how brilliant dribbler he is. Although he’s yet to record an assist for David Wagner’s side, with a season xA of less than 0.5 but, importantly, he still creates 1.04 chances per 90. In Wagner’s fluid system that relies on heavy pressing and quick counter-attacks, Matondo averages 0.59 fast breaks per 90 which shows that he would be a great fit for a club like Manchester United who usually plays counter-attacking football.
Just 19 years of age with less than 30 senior appearances to his name, Matondo is still very much raw and unrefined talent and that is expected. With more and more experience and first-team exposure, he will certainly improve on his biggest weaknesses like decision making.
Sometimes, he holds the ball for too long and hesitates to make the final pass but that is an area where most young players lack early in their careers. He also needs to bulk up in order to not be outmuscled by opponents.
The 19-year-old reminds of a young Raheem Sterling when he made his way to the first-team of Liverpool. Under the right guidance, he can certainly become an elite footballer and Manchester United could definitely take a chance with the wonderkid.
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