Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Manchester City To Not Re-Sign Former Academy Product: A Wise Move By Pep Guardiola?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to Telegraph, Manchester City had an opportunity to re-sign Rabbi Matondo this month. The Schalke winger has now joined Stoke City on a short-term loan deal, as part of Christian Gross’ transfer overhaul following a difficult start to the campaign. However, the transfer was on hold, waiting on  Manchester City’s decision to repurchase the player for a fee of £6.5 million. But, with his move now completed, it appears the Premier League giants have opted not to exercise their option.

Rabbi Matondo’s Spell At Schalke

A product of the Manchester City youth academy, Matondo initially joined Schalke back in January 2019 for a fee of around £8 million. He was brought in to provide more depth and creativity in a side that had lost Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka in the summer of 2018.

Although Matondo mustered only 184 minutes of league football during the backend of the 2018/19 campaign, he eventually found his breakthrough in the following season. An excellent performance against Borussia Dortmund in the Revierderby, in particular, raised a lot of eyebrows, with the winger proceeding to feature in 20 league games last season.

This time around, Matondo has endured a miserable time in Ruhrpott. He has played in three games in all competitions, falling behind the likes of Mark Uth, Benito Raman and even Steven Skryzbski. His loan move to Stoke City wasn’t surprising either from a sporting perspective and from a financial perspective.

Manchester City had an opportunity to re-sign Rabbi Matondo - He has failed to shine in the Bundesliga.
Schalke’s Welsh forward Rabbi Matondo (L) and Dortmund’s English midfielder Jadon Sancho vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match between BVB Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04 on October 24, 2020 in Dortmund, western Germany. (Photo by Ina Fassbender / various sources / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

Should Manchester City Have Re-Signed Matondo?

Matondo has never really managed to impact the Bundesliga, barring a couple of good performances. He has lacked the penetration required to open up defence, while also being unfortunate due to Schalke’s miserable run that has seen almost every player underperform.

From a sporting perspective, the potential return of Matondo to Manchester City would make very little sense. It is, however, fair to point out that the Premier League side could have used him as a financial tool by loaning him out to other clubs, in a hope to increase his value – something they’ve been quite successful at doing when it comes to Angelino of RB Leipzig.

But unlike the Spaniard, Matondo has not shown any potential of performing at the highest level despite being offered a considerable amount of opportunity. A direct loan move to Stoke City thus makes sense as the Welshman seeks to revive his career in the Championship during the second half of the campaign.

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