Bremen - SV Werder Bremen have completed a late move in the summer transfer market by signing 25-year-old forward Joseph Akpala from Club Brugge KV. After completing his medical with the club and ironing out the finer details of his contract on Thursday, the five-time Nigerian international put pen to paper on a four-year deal with die Werderaner.
"For me it's a big step in my career," said Akpala. "It's a huge privilege to be able to play for Werder Bremen. This club belongs amongst the top teams in Germany. I want to build on the great Bremen times of the past and make a positive impact on the team."
The towering centre-forward, who scored 63 goals in 166 appearances in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League, is expected to help the squad cope with the losses of Claudio Pizarro and Markus Rosenberg. "We've always maintained that we would remain vigilant in the transfer market until 31 August to see if we could add a sensible signing to our forward line," stated Werder's executive sporting director Klaus Allofs. "We're delighted that we could convince Joseph Akpala to join SV Werder Bremen. He will raise the level of competition within the team. Of course we're also hoping to see lots of goals."
Bremen boss Thomas Schaaf believes Akpala could be the perfect fit for his side as they look to reestablish themselves as a club capable of qualifying for Europe in the Bundesliga. "Joseph has demonstrated in several matches that he's a physical striker, who above all profits greatly from his turn of pace," said the 51-year-old head coach. "He has a real presence in the opposition penalty area and provides a constant threat in front of goal. We want to experience the same qualities with him at Werder."