After an end to a dismal season earlier this month for SV Hamburg, they have quickly started the rebuilding process by signing Hungarian winger, Zoltan Stieber.
The 25-year-old leaves Greuther Fürth, who took on Hamburg in the relegation play-off earlier this month and lost on away goals. He joins Hamburg on a three year deal and according to the Bundesliga website, he has called this move “an incredible opportunity”.
“HSV are a huge club and Hamburg’s a big city. For me, this is an incredible opportunity to be able to come and play here. I can’t wait until the start of next season in the Bundesliga,” said Stieber.
The game finished 1-1 as Hamburg retained their top flight status and remain to be the only club to have never been relegated from the first division. Had the result been different, there’s no doubt that the Hungarian would have stayed with the club as they were on course to return to the Bundesliga after just a one year absence.
For Stieber, it’s a massive move in terms of the capacity of the clubs as he leaves Fürth who typically record a crowd of 18,500 in favour of the Imtech Arena who almost pack triple that amount of support.
The former Mainz winger is looking forward to building on his Bundesliga repertoire having made 23 appearances previously in the Bundesliga. He impressed the Hamburg sporting director, Oliver Kreuzer, after setting up Fürth’s goal in the first leg in Hamburg and he is convinced that they have brought in a player who can make a real impact next year.
“We’re delighted Zoltan chose to join HSV,” said the sporting director. “He’s incredibly versatile across the frontline, is agile, tricky and fast.
"We want to inject more pace into our attacking approach and Zoltan fits our requirements perfectly.” German sources claim that the fee for the player is believed to have been in the region of 1.2 million euros.
For Hamburg, a serious re-shuffle is required if they are going to be able to challenge for a place back in the top ten next season. There are a pool of teams who are fighting for a place in Europe including Gladback, Augsburg, Mainz, Hoffenheim and Hertha and Hamburg were once their superior.
At the moment, manager, Mirko Slomka, is fighting to hold on to the services of Hakan Calhanoglu as he has been heavily linked with moves to Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. The 20-year-old Turkey international enjoyed a very fruitful season with the Red Shorts scoring 11 goals in 32 games.
The attacking midfielder is also being linked with moves to the Premier League with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea all considered to be interested. The club are understood to value the player at £12 million.
Unfortunately, Rafael Van der Vaart has been forced to miss the World Cup. The Hamburg and Netherlands midfielder has been ruled out the tournament after picking up a calf injury whilst training with the national squad and is expected to be replaced by PSV midfielder, Georginio Wijnaldum.
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