Man City eyeing Schalke's Lewandowski-esque Matthew Hoppe

Matthew Hoppe

Manchester City are reportedly in the hunt for Schalke's Matthew Hoppe, a teenage prodigy who has drawn parallels with Robert Lewandowski. 

The looming uncertainty over Sergio Aguero's long-term future at City has prompted plenty of speculation linking the Premier League leaders with a move for Erling Haaland in recent weeks, but the Norwegian superstar is not the only Bundesliga striker on their radar. 

Indeed, according to a recent report from 90min.com, City scouts have been running the rule over Hoppe, who has scored five goals in 11 appearances for Schalke this season. 

The emergence of the 19-year-old sensation has offered some solace for the Gelsenkirchen-based outfit in an otherwise disastrous season. 

Schalke are currently rock-bottom in the Bundesliga and nine points from safety having won just one game all season. 

Their seemingly inevitable relegation from the top-flight coupled with their financial problems have given rivals clubs reason to believe that Hoppe's signature could be secured in the summer. 

City are not alone in expressing an interest, however.

The report states that Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and local rivals Manchester United have all scouted Hoppe and have been impressed by what they've seen.

Clubs in Italy and Spain are also monitoring the American's progress.

GIVEMESPORT's Jack Saville says...

Hoppe only signed his first professional contract this month and is a raw talent with plenty to prove, but the early prognosis is certainly an auspicious one. 

The centre-forward has posted a decent return in front of goal amid Schalke's dismal domestic form, while analysis from the Bundesliga's official website indicates what he could offer at the Etihad Stadium.

After Hoppe became the first American player to score a hat-trick in the history of Germany's top flight with a trio of strikes against Hoffenheim last month, Bundesliga.com provided an insight into his career thus far. 

And they didn't hold back in their esteemed praise as they compared Hoppe to Lewandowski, one of the most prolific strikers in Bundesliga history. 

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The Poland international is the third-highest scorer to grace the Bundesliga and remains as potent as ever at 32 years of age. 

While the weight of that compliment certainly wasn't wasted on the author, the comparison has clearly been made from a stylistic perspective and isn't necessarily a prediction for comparable future success.

"Ok, admittedly Hoppe still has a long way to go before reaching the same kind of level as the Bayern Munich hitman, but he has all the fundamental attributes to do so.

"Tall and lithe but with a strong frame, the American has a knack of losing his marker at just the right time, his clever movement creating pockets of space inside the penalty area.

"Although predominantly right-footed, he can also score with his left, with his head and from outside the box.

"The teen talent was called up to first-team training for the first time in November 2020, and his time rubbing shoulders with the pros has already helped him progress in Lewy-esque leaps and bounds."

Standing at 6ft 3in tall, Hoppe's physical profile certainly merits the comparison with Bayern Munich's chief marksman. 

That City are interested in Hoppe, and have also been linked with a move for Romelu Lukaku of late, suggests Pep Guardiola is aiming to recruit a player with a different set of qualities to those offered by the relatively short pairing of Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, who are 5ft 8in and 5ft 9in respectively. 

Whether City will be able to win the race for the in-demand prodigy remains to be seen.

Comparisons with Lewandowski, though, certainly add an extra layer of intrigue to the mooted interest from English shores.

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