The inside track from Germany on Sunderland signings Leon Dajaku and Thorben Hoffmann
Sunderland fans will be keen to see new signings Leon Dajaku and Thorben Hoffmann in action – but what can supporters expect from them?
The German pair have arrived on loan, yet it’s understood the Black Cats have an option to buy both players at the end of the season.
Dajaku, 20, is predominantly a winger who came through the ranks at Bayern Munich, before he was loaned out to Union Berlin last season, where he then signed a permanent deal.
Hoffman, 22, was Bayern’s third-choice goalkeeper last term and will hope to gain more game time at Sunderland.
To find out more about both players, we caught up with Bayern reporter Florian Plettenberg from SPORT1.
Firstly, Leon Dajaku - what type of player is he and what are his strengths and weaknesses?
FP: “Dajaku is talented for sure but it was not easy for him at Bayern Munich.
“His father, I wouldn’t say he’s a problem but it was problematic for some agents to work with him because the father had to try to get him a good contract and to push him in other clubs.
“Dajaku didn’t really get a chance at Bayern Munich in the first team, yet he’s technically very good, he’s quick and his qualities are on the wings.
“His weaknesses are maybe his behaviour outside of the field and as I know it was not always very professional. This is why he had some problems within the club.
The same question for Thorben Hoffman?
FP: "Thorben Hoffmann is a very quiet player, very solid. He likes to play golf in his leisure time.
“Players like Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer were very close to him and supported him a lot. With Niklas Sule and Thomas Muller he often played golf away from the pitch.
“It’s not easy to say what his strengths and weaknesses are because he didn’t play so much as the third goalkeeper.
“He played in a preparation match and I think now it’s a good step to show his qualities.”
Why have Bayern allowed these two young players to leave?
FP: “Dajaku was not in the plans for the future of the club because they didn’t believe in his breakthrough and it was necessary to get some cash.
“Union Berlin has paid around €1million so that was a very good chance to make money for Dajaku.
“For Hoffman It’s very important for him to get some game time because he didn’t play at Bayern Munich in the first team and was in between the first and the second team.”
“I know that his management had the idea last summer and now they have taken the decision with Sunderland.”
Why did Union Berlin agree to sign Dajaku, only to loan him to Sunderland with an option to buy?
FP: “Union Berlin had belief in him but he had a lot of struggles with Coronavirus and then an injury so this is why he didn’t play the games, he was not even in the squad.
“You can say the last year when he has been at Union Berlin it was not very successful because he has had only two performances in the Bundesliga which was less than his ambitions.
“Now he has to show he is good in the third league in England with Sunderland.
“I’m not sure about Sunderland’s option to buy because I know he has a contract until 2024 in Berlin.”
What sort of fee would the two deals cost Sunderland?
FP: “To my mind the loan for Hoffman is for free but I’m not 100 per cent sure.
“Dajaku, that is not between Sunderland and Bayern Munich so I’m not sure on that one.”