Werder Bremen's USA international striker Josh Sargent has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to move to Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in favour of a switch to Werder Bremen.
The 18-year-old officially joined the Green-Whites in early 2018 and his consistently good performances in the reserves this season – with seven goals in 12 outings – earned him promotion to the first team, vindicating his decision to sign for Bremen.
“At the end of the day I wanted to play for a club where I could get playing time," he told Grant Wahl's Planet Futbol podcast. "I visited clubs and I had a really good feeling about Bremen and the coaching staff and everyone there. So I went with my gut, and I'm glad I made the decision."
It is easy to see why. The forward made his Bundesliga debut on Matchday 14 this season, scoring just 86 seconds after coming off the bench in a 3-1 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf.
"I didn't know if I was going to come on or not," he said, recalling that maiden Bundesliga outing. "Then the coach called me over and I started getting nervous, but at the same time very excited because it's what you dream of as a little kid […] And scoring with my first touch only made everything twice as good. It was a dream debut."
The St. Louis, Missouri native found the net again in just his third league game, this time a 3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig, underlining his growing reputation as a natural-born goalscorer. "It's just an instinct I have around the goal," Sargent said when asked to explain his knack of scoring. "Just when I'm around the goal I want to score and it kind if just comes off that way."
Not that it has all been easy, with Sargent admitting to needing some time to adjust to playing at the highest level: "It's definitely a very fast tempo. There’s a huge difference going from the fourth division in Germany to the first league, so you have to be thinking every second of the game. And it's much more physical and there are faster players, so everything is increased in pace."
The forward also appears to have settled into life in Germany away from the pitch, even if he does miss the cuisine of his homeland.
"Right now there's another American at the club playing for the second team [Isaiah Young] and we're pretty good friends," he said. "I'm taking German classes and my girlfriend is over there right now, so everything is coming together really well."
Indeed it is. And with two goals already in just 48 top-flight minutes of action so far in 2018/19, the chances are good that Sargent will increasingly be given game time this year. If so, that would likely help him fulfill his resolution for 2019: "To score more goals".