Jonjoe Kenny Opens Up on Everton Future as Schalke Loan Draws to an End

Jonjoe Kenny
Everton's Jonjoe Kenny has spent the season on loan at Schalke 04 | TF-Images/Getty Images

Jonjoe Kenny has admitted that he hasn't had any conversations about his Everton future with manager Carlo Ancelotti, as his loan spell at Schalke nears its end.

The right-back has started more Bundesliga games for the club than any player other than Bastian Oczipka, and told 90min this week that he's been focusing on getting regular minutes under his belt in the short-term than anything that might come after.

Asked if he'd talked to Ancelotti or the club's backroom staff about what his future at Goodison might hold, he admitted that he was taking a hands-off approach to let them deal with a hectic COVID-19 restart schedule.

"Nothing's been said," he admitted. "I know what Everton are going through because it happened here at Schalke, it's crazy, the rules and regulations with the coronavirus situation. They've got enough on their plate right now, they've just got to finish their season and we'll see from there. But no, nothing's really come from Everton yet."

The England Under-20 World Cup winner hailed the impact of the Bundesliga on his tactical nous, explaining: "The games aren't so much of that fast, up and down, continuous thing like in the Premier League, it's a lot more tactical – keeping your shape, trying to find the weakness in the other team and pouncing on it.

"There's a lot of detail that goes into that, and I really enjoyed that part of the game, learning different ways to set up against teams. It's obviously helped my development to see different ways to perform and play against different styles and different types of players."

German DFB Pokal"FC Schalke 04 v Bayern Munchen"
Kenny has taken on a number of ex-Premier League stars in Germany, including Bayern Munich's Serge Gnabry | ANP Sport/Getty Images

Some fans and pundits have questioned the consistency of some teams' defending since the post COVID-19 restart in play, wondering aloud whether the lack of full team training has contributed to a slight loosening in habits and positioning on the pitch for back lines – leading to situations where forwards have been allowed to waltz through on goal.

For the Schalke man though, the measures the club put in place to bring the defence back up to speed were enough.

"I felt good, really. When we did individual sessions sometimes we'd go away with defensive people, midfielders and strikers had their own sessions, so we worked on that and getting the movement back into the legs – stepping up, making sure you're right to shift out wide. It was all about getting your distances right, and we worked on that a lot with certain coaches."

With a return to Everton looming – Kenny has played his last game of the season, suspended for the weekend after picking up five yellow cards – the 23-year-old admitted that his number one priority is to play consistently.

"It's different for each person," he said, asked about the number of promising Toffees youngsters who have had to go out on loan to take the next step in their development. "I can only speak for myself and what I've felt, but I played a good few times for Everton, I think it was 30-odd times, and I loved it.

Jonjoe Kenny
The defender will return to Goodison at the end of the season | Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

"I had a moment when I wasn't playing, and I want to play week-in, week-out – I'm not happy to be sitting on the bench. When Schalke came up to go out on loan, to give me the opportunity to go and perform, the idea that if I play well I'll stay in the team, that's all I wanted. That's all I could really ask for from any manager, and it was the right thing at that point in my career."

Read more from Jonjoe Kenny, especially his thoughts on football's support of the Black Lives Matter movement, here.

For more from Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at @ThatChris1209