It was all set for a comfortable first home win of the season – the opponent for the day was none other than minnows Eintracht Braunschweig, a club back in the top flight after decades of absence. Jürgen Klopp’s side saw the majority of the possession and created a handful of chances but there were still no goals to show for Dortmund’s dominance and the match entered the final fifteen minutes mark to the concern of the rather exuberant Dortmund supporters. Just when the stubborn Eintracht defensive line thought they were on course to come away with a point, Dortmund breaks the deadlock from unfamiliar source: Jonas Hofmann, who had just entered the pitch seven minutes earlier, combined exquisitely with Mats Hummels to snatch his first senior goal for the club. It was a dream come true for the winger who is just made his way to the Dortmund’s first team following an impressive pre-season.
Experienced at youth level
Hofmann passed through Hoffenheim’s youth system before signing for Dortmund in 2011. Even though the winger spent seven years at Hoffenheim, he didn’t even make his senior debut for the village club. He scored 23 goals in 71 appearances collectively for the Under-17 and Under-19 teams at Hoffenheim and represented Germany at Under-18 level five times, scoring one goal. He also featured in five matches for Hoffenheim II in 2010-11, in which he scored twice.
Borussia Dortmund acquired the signature of the youngster in 2011 and he immediately mark his territory in the Regionalliga West for their second team, scoring ten goals and assisting eleven in his debut season. At the end of the season, Borussia Dortmund II got promoted to the third tier and Hofmann played a vital role in the club’s success. The following campaign saw his first senior match for the Black Yellows as he featured for the last couple of minutes in December against, incidentally, Hoffenheim. The winger made his home debut against Augsburg in April as well as still being instrumental for the second team throughout the season, which earned him a spot for the pre-season Borussia Dortmund’s squad of 2013-14.
Seizing the moment
In the summer transfer market, Borussia Dortmund let go of familiar youngsters Moritz Leitner (loan deal to Stuttgart) and Leonardo Bittencourt (signed for Hannover with the buy-back clause contract still an option for Dortmund), which left room for the incoming Jonas Hofmann and Marvin Ducksch.
The 21-years-old winger properly seized the opportunity and shone in pre-season, capping off his fine summer with a fantastic goal in Telekom Cup against Hamburg to secure his side a third place finish. Despite witnessing his team beat Bayern München in the DFL-Supercup on the bench, he came-off it to provide two assists in Dortmund’s 3-0 victory at Wilhelmshaven in the first round of the DFB-Pokal a week later.
Borussia Dortmund’s new #7 then featured in the first league match of the season as he replaced hat-trick hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Augsburg and won a penalty kick in the dying minutes, which was converted by Robert Lewandowski for the fourth goal of the match. Jürgen Klopp has shown faith in the youngster by not delving into the market in search of a natural winger, emphasizing that there is no chance that Jonas Hofmann is going to follow in the footsteps of Leitner and Bittencourt.
Jonas Hofmann repaid his mentor’s faith by scoring the all important goal the following match against Eintracht Braunschweig for his first Bundesliga goal in front of the Südtribune, the famous Yellow Wall at the Signal Iduna Park. One could have easily predicted Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski or debutant Henrikh Mkhitaryan to end the promoted side’s resistance, but it was youngster Jonas Hofmann who stole the show with a brilliant effort from a tight angle. His introduction proved to be the difference at the end as he also earned Dortmund yet another penalty kick later with fellow substitute Marco Reus converting it to seal all three points.
Hofmann possesses dazzling acceleration and has proven that he has what it takes to profit from the opponent’s tiring defensive line as an impact substitute. He only featured for 43 minutes on the field this season in the Bundesliga but already opened his scoring account and earned his team two penalties. Hofmann has five goals in seven first team appearances up to date, which present Dortmund with another up and rising youngster following Mario Götze’s departure from the club. His fine form so far has earned him a call-up to the Germany Under-21 squad, with Hofmann scoring his first goal last week against the Faroe Islands in a European Championship qualifying match.
One step at a time
Following his man-of-the-match performance against Braunschweig, Jonas Hofmann explained his intentions for the season in an interview with the official Bundesliga site. His super-sub performance hasn’t got to his head and he claimed it’s premature for him to expect a starting berth, being content as a back-up for regular starter Jakub Błaszczykowski.
Mats Hummels described Hofmann as a fourth summer signing, alongside Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sokratis, following his perfect introduction to the Dortmund faithful. With Dortmund involved in three different competitions and with a tight calendar, as well as additional Under-21 matches with the national team, it’s time for Jonas Hofmann to step up to the task of turning into a regular first team player.
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