Borussia Mönchengladbach have completed the signing of winger Jonas Hofmann on a five-year deal from Borussia Dortmund for a reported €8 million. The 23-year-old’s time with the Schwarzgelben didn’t exactly live up to expectations, and he will be desperate to kick-start his career with the Foals. While not the last-chance saloon, it is time for Hoffmann to prove himself on the big stage.
Dortmund’s first home game of the 2013/14 season could not have gone better for young Jonas Hofmann. Coming off the bench in the 68th minute with newly promoted Eintracht Braunschweig holding BVB goalless, he took just seven minutes to fire Jürgen Klopp’s side ahead in front of the Südtribune and then won the penalty for Marco Reus to help seal the three points.
The scene seemed set for Hoffmann to push himself on and become the next jewel in the Dortmund crown. Unfortunately, the Heidelberg-born attacker was limited mostly to the role of late substitute making a total of 26 appearances, but only four starts and 90 minutes completed once.
The problem for Hofmann was the array of riches in front of him with Marco Reus, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and (at the time) Jakub Blaszczykowski all regularly picked ahead of him. Last season saw him loaned out to Mainz with it becoming abundantly clear that his chances at the Signal-Iduna Park were going to be limited.
However with the Null-Fünfer injury limited him to just ten appearances, although he did contribute three goals. His move now to Borussia Mönchengladbach has seen the termination of the promise he showed, but does give him the opportunity for a fresh start.
On first looking at the deal, it seems a good move for both player and club. The Foals look to have a need in his wide position with both Patrick Herrmann and André Hahn out with long-term injuries, while Ibrahima Traoré has also struggled with injury this season.
“Jonas Hofmann will help us to compensate for injuries in our offensive wide positions” Sporting Director Max Eberl has explained. “We see his signing as a long-term improvement to our squad. Jonas has already shown in Dortmund and Mainz that he is a talented Bundesliga player.”
We are sure to see Hofmann in the Gladbach line-up at the start of the Rückrunde, but the question remains whether, when Andre Schubert has a full squad to choose from, where his position in the pecking order will be.
Fabian Johnson has filled in well, Thorgan Hazard can play wide, Hahn, Traoré and Hermann will return, and even Josip Drmic can be employed in advanced role in a three behind the striker.
The list of talented Bundesliga youngsters to fail to fulfil their early promise is a long one. Jonas Hoffman now has the chance to make sure his name is not added to that list.
In a twist of footballing fate, Mönchengladbach’s first match of the Rückrunde is at home to none other than Borussia Dortmund providing the perfect debut for Hoffmann to prove his point. The headlines are just waiting to be written.
Header photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images
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