Hanover – Hannover 96 have bolstered their defensive ranks for the season run-in, signing Swiss international Johan Djourou from Arsenal FC on a loan deal through to 30 June 2013.
"Quite a catch"
Djourou, who turns 26 later this month, underwent a medical in Hanover on Friday evening before joining his new team-mates for the Saturday morning flight to their pre-restart training camp on the Algarve.
"Johan Djourou's an internationally-experienced professional who we are confident can bring something to the team very quickly. He's just the kind of player we were looking for and is eligible to take part in our Europa League games as well," sporting director Jörg Schmadtke explained.
"With Felipe and Leon Andreasen both sidelined, we needed to do something at the back. With his strength, tactical awareness and commitment, I'm convinced he's quite a catch for us," head coach Mirko Slomka added.
No stranger to the AWD Arena
Djourou, who was born in Abidjan and possesses dual Ivory Coast/Swiss citizenship, has turned out 86 times for Arsenal since moving to the north London club as a teenager in 2003. His match time for the Gunners this season has been restricted to a couple of games in the League Cup. The 6' 2'' central defensive specialist has racked up 37 appearances for Switzerland to date – one of them being at Hannover's very own AWD Arena in the 2-0 victory over South Korea at the 2006 World Cup.