Rabbi Matondo has set his sights on helping Stoke City win promotion after sealing a loan move unti the end of the season.
The 20-year-old fleet-footed winger has met up with his new teammates – including five of his Wales pals – having completed a move from Schalke this afternoon.
He has signed in time to be in contention to make his debut in the FA Cup against Leicester on Saturday.
But it is no secret that the Championship is Stoke and Michael O’Neill’s priority as they head into the second half of the campaign sitting eighth, two points outside the top six.
Matondo said: “I’m delighted to sign for Stoke City until the end of the season and am looking forward to it.
“I’ve come here to help the lads in every possible way I can. As an attacking player, hopefully I can add some goals and assists to try and help the team make the promotion spots.”
Matondo joined Man City in 2016 from Cardiff – where he was dubbed the best prospect since Aaron Ramsey – and he was fast-tracked for club and country, picked for Wales under-21s by former Port Vale boss Rob Page when he was still 17.
Page described him as having “pace I’ve never seen a player have before”.
He moved on again to Germany in early 2019 for a fee worth up £11m.
His stock was high enough to see him linked with Real Madrid and Manchester United in 2020 – and Man City hold a £41.6m buy-back option, as well as reportedly a clause to match any lower offer which Schalke accept and a 25 per cent sell-on clause.
Growing up he suggested his favoured positions were on the left wing or up front but he has found his role on the right flank in senior football.
O’Neill has been looking for more options in the final third after losing Tyrese Campbell – who left Man City for Stoke just as Matondo was arriving – to a season-ending knee injury while Steven Fletcher and Lee Gregory are also in the treatment room.