Hannover 96 have announced the signing of Standard Liege and Belgiian international Sébastien Pocognoli, while Stuttgart have brought in Wolfsburg’s Felipe Lopes to shore up their defense, while Hoffenheim have signed David Abraham from Spanish side Getafe, while Marvin Compper looks for a new club after being demoted to the Hoffenheim reserve side. Former Werder Bremen and Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre will be trying his hand in America, while Eintracht Franfurt have signed Paolo DelPiccolo, a recent draft choice of the Montreal Impact of MLS.
Hannover Add Pocongoli
The 96ers signed left back Sébastien Pocognoli to a contract though June, 2016. The 25 year-old native of Liege comes over from hometown club Standard, where he has played 44 matches since January, 2010.
Pocognoli began his youth career with Standard before transferring to Genk, where he made his senior debut as at the age of 16 in 2004. The Belgian left for Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar in 2007, playing on their 2008/2009 championship club before returning to Standard in January, 2010.
The 5’11” Pocognoli made more than 60 appearances with Belgian national youth sides before making his debut with the senior national team in 2009. He has earned seven caps with Belgium. Hannover’s Mirko Slomka commented
Sébastien Pocognoli has played in all four games against us in the Europa League from the beginning, so I know his qualities. We agreed that we needed and wanted to do something on the left, so I am pleased with the transfer
Lopes to Stuttgart on Loan
VfB Stuttgart have acquired central defender Felipe Lopes, 25, on a six-month loan from VfL Wolfsburg, with an option to buy. Lopes had made 14 league appearances for Die Wolfe since joining them a year ago from Portuguese side CD Nacional, where he’d played since 2007 and featured in 98 matches.
Stuttgart Sporting Director Fredi Bobic stated
We succeeded in winning a player for VfB Stuttgart who already knows Bundesliga football. Besides the league we still have good chances in the cup and Europa League. It is therefore important to have alternatives. We are convinced Felipe Lopes can help us reach our goals
A native of Brazil, the 6 footer made his senior team debut with Guarani FC in his native country before leaving for Anderlecht in 2007. The Stuttgarter Zeitung reported that Stuttgart Coach Bruno Labbadia was a “driving force” in the Lopes loan. It is speculated that Stuttgart and former German national team defender Serdar Tasci will leave the Swabians in the summer.
Hoffenheim Sign David Abraham
Hoffenheim, who surrendered a Bundesliga-worst 41 goals in the 2012/2013 Hinrunde, have purchased Getafe defender David Abraham until 2016. Abraham featured in nine matches for the Spanish club after joining them last May.
Hoffenheim General Manager Andreas Muller
Right from the beginning, David Abraham showed his willingness to take on the difficult challenge here at Hoffenheim. I am convinced he can help us
Abraham made his reputation in Switzerland, playing on three Swiss Super League championship sides with FC Basel and featuring in over 100 matches with the club. Born in Argentina, the 26 year-old began his professional career with Independiente in 2005 and also played for Gimnàstic de Tarragona, playing over 100 matches in Argentina. The 6’2″ central defender also featured six times for Argentina’s U-20 team in 2005.
Hoffenheim did earn a clean sheet in their 2013 opener against Borussia Monchengladbach under new coach Marco Kurz. The Hoffenheim coach added that
For his age, he (Abraham) has got a lot of experience at the highest level, and that is very important for us. His speed and the solutions he finds in one-on-one situations are his big strengths. I am delighted we were able to persuade him to join us
Hoffenheim also announced that longtime backline fixture Marvin Compper has been demoted to the reserve side. Compper has featured over 150 times for the village club, but his motivation was found wanting. Compper’s agent indicated that Fiorentina are interested in signing the former German international.
More Transfer News, Rumors and Sightings
Last week there were several transfers involving Bundesliga clubs. Former Hertha Berlin man Raffael returned to the Bundesliga from Dinamo Kiev, joining injury-ridden Schalke on loan. The 27 year-old Brazilian attacking midfielder made over 140 appearances for the Berliners between 2008 and 2102, scoring 33 times,before signing with the Ukrainian club this summer. He made a cameo appearance in Schalke’s wild win over Hannover last Friday.
Also, Robert Tesche, 25, went on loan from Hamburger SV to Fortuna Düsseldorf, coming in for his new club at halftime last Sunday in their loss to FC Augsburg. The native of Wismar began his career with Arminia Bielefeld in 2001, making his senior debut with the club in 2007. The midfielder transferred to Hamburg after Bielefeld’s demotion in 2009, making 50 appearances for the north German club and scoring four goals.
Veteran midfielder Benjamin Kohler, 32, left his longtime club, Eintracht Frankfurt, for 1. FC Kaiserslautern last week to help the Red Devils with their promotion bid. The Berlin native played over 225 matches for Frankfurt after beginning his career with Hertha Berlin. Kohler also featured for MSV Duisburg and RW Essen in his professional career that began in 2000. FC Augsburg added to their club last week, also, bringing in Andre Hahn from Kickers Offenbach. Hahn was with the 3. Liga club for the last eighteen months, playing in 42 contests and scoring five times. Hahn, 22, joined Kickers from TuS Koblenz and began his career with Hamburg’s reserve side and made his Augsburg debut late in last Sunday’s match.
Across the pond, former Werder Bremen and Manchester United defender Mikaël Silvestre will begin training with the Portland Timbers of MLS, according to a tweet Tuesday from Timbers’ owner Merritt Paulson.. Silvestre, 35, who earned 40 caps for France, has been without a club since being released by Werder Bremen following the end of last season. He featured in 30 matches while with Werder.
Eintracht Frankfurt have announced the signings of two players for their reserve squad, Paolo DelPiccolo and Ugur Albayrak. DelPiccolo is an American defender who played college ball at the University of Louisville and has been part of the American U-20 squad. Born in May, 1991, the 6-foot Lakewood, Ohio native was drafted last week by the Montreal Impact of MLS, but chose to ink a deal with Eintracht, with whom he was already training. He was the 27th player chosen in the 2013 MLS draft. Albayrak, 24, is a Frankfurt native who played most recently for SV Darmstadt. The striker scored 12 goals for Eintracht’s reserve side last season before going to Darmstadt.
Header courtesy of dpa / Yorick Jansens