In a double transfer, 1899 Hoffenheim have signed Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese and Bayer Leverkusen striker Eren Derdiyok. The transfers were officially confirmed by the club today with the fees disclosed by both parties.
Tim Wiese announced his decision to part ways with Werder Bremen earlier this year and was linked to a host of clubs all over Europe ranging from AC Milan to Tottenham, even with Spanish giants Real Madrid this week funnily enough. Despite a plethora of options, the 30 year old German international signed a deal that will keep him at Hoffenheim for four years. Wiese was part of Joachim Löw’s 2010 World Cup squad and has been second choice for the National Team behind Manuel Neuer since. He is also expected to be included in their squad for the EUROs this summer.
Wiese made his Bundesliga debut in 2002 for Kaiserslautern before moving to Werder Bremen in 2005. With a decade’s worth of experience behind him and 258 league matches, Wiese is one of the Bundesliga’s most experienced players. There his impeccable reflexes and shot stopping ability made him into one of the league’s best goalkeepers and put him on the radar of the German National Team where he got his first call up in 2006. With Bremen Wiese finished runners up in the league in 2006 and 2008 and reached the UEFA Cup and DFB Cup final in 2009, winning the German Cup. It is no surprise then that despite having an in form Tom Starke in the team, Markus Babbel did not want to pass up the opportunity to bring in such an experienced player:
The opportunity to sign such an experienced, successful and ambitious player was one we had to make the most of. The fact that Tim Wiese is in the national squad says it all, really. I’m convinced he’s going to be a major factor in us achieving our goals.
The question now is what becomes of Hoffenheim’s #1 Tom Starke who has had a very good season and is a strong fan favorite amongst the club’s supporters. Last week they displayed strong backing for Starke with anti-Wiese signs being brought to the matches. Suffice to say, Wiese will have his work cut out for him trying to establish himself in a new team and winning the supporters over. On that Wiese had this to say:
In life you have to be prepared for anything. At Werder no one gave me a chance at the beginning either but then I quickly bonded with the supporters and settled in.
Derdiyok too penned a four year deal with Hoffenheim. The Swiss international striker scored 7 goals in 24 matches for Bayer Leverkusen this season but often found himself out of favor or second choice to Stefan Kiessling’ in Robin Dutt’s single striker system. Overall Derdiyok had scored 25 goals in 89 league matches for Leverkusen following his move from Swiss club Young Boys and is also perhaps best remembered for his winning goal against Spain in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup. Although the fees are disclosed the transfer is rumored to be around 5 million Euros including bonuses.
Following the departure of Vedad Ibisevic, Hoffenheim have struggled to find a consistent goal scoring alternative and neither Ryan Babel, Penial Mlapa, Sven Schipplock or Srdjan Lakic have played to their potential. Markus Babbel therefore sought a natural goal scorer and some variety in Hoffenheim’s attacks and saw Derdiyok as the perfect fit:
“Eren Derdiyok is a complete striker who fits perfectly into our sporting philosophy. I’m delighted we were able to convince him to come.”
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