American right-back Joe Scally will be part of the first team when he completes his switch to Borussia Mönchengladbach from New York City FC, his new club have confirmed.
Scally agreed to join Gladbach in November 2019, but is waiting until his 18th Birthday on 31 December 2020 and the opening of the January transfer window the following day for FIFA to sanction the move.
Gladbach have been closely monitoring the right-back - who has since made his Major League Soccer debut - and have no intention of holding him back upon his long-awaited arrival at the Borussia-Park.
"We have high expectations for him," commented Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl. "Our plan is for him to be part of the first team."
Scally's pro-level experience from his time at New York gives the Gladbach hierarchy cause for optimism. Despite being only 17, he made four MLS appearances in the calendar year 2020, whilst featuring in the MLS Play-Offs and CONCACAF Champions League. He has also earned 17 caps for the US U17s.
"Joe brings a lot to the table," Eberl said, elaborating on why he believes Scally can be a hit in the Bundesliga.
"He's a very good defender. He has pace, stamina, real heart, and a good physique for his age. We're very excited about him."
Gladbach's trip to Arminia Bielefeld on 2 January will likely come too soon for Scally to make his Bundesliga debut, but he could be involved when the the Foals take on Borussia Dortmund - and best friend, Gio Reyna - three weeks later. The pair played together in the New York City youth teams, as well as in the USA U15s and U17s.
“Gio and I hit it off right away when I moved to the New York academy," Scally told Bild earlier this year. "We were inseparable from then on in every training session and on every trip we made. He's my best friend and we stay in touch via FaceTime every day.
"We visit each other when he's back home over the holidays and I can't wait to see him in Germany. I know we'll be playing in competing teams, but hopefully the fans will understand that I'll speak to him sometimes."