Mönchengladbach - Max Kruse was one of the emerging stars of last season with his eleven goals and nine assists helping SC Freiburg to a shock fifth-place finish.
The 25-year-old was rewarded with his first Germany caps and a move to Borussia Mönchengladbach, who are looking forward to getting a similar return from the attacking midfielder.
After his first training session at the club's stadium, Gladbach’s new arrival chatted to the awaiting journalists about a range of topics, including ...
...his first days with the Foals: “I arrived in Mönchengladbach yesterday and have only just moved into a hotel. I’m going to use the coming days to look for a flat. It shouldn’t be too far away because I don’t like having to travel far to get to training.”
...the start of training: “I’m currently only focusing on the things which matter, and that means that we use the coming weeks to prepare as a team for our first competitive fixture of the season and develop an understanding of the kind of runs we make. I myself am trying to find my feet in a new team and that’s the most important thing to begin with. The rest will follow.”
...the huge expectations: "I know that the expectations are different now, especially after my . I’m not putting myself under any pressure, though, and I’m trying not to think about it. I expect myself to confirm what I did last season because I now know what’s possible."
...his goals: “We haven’t spoken much about objectives, but I think we’re all aiming to qualify for Europe again. There’s a lot of quality within the team and with Raffael we’ve got another very good attacking player. We want to do better than we did last season, if possible, and that means we’re aiming for a place in the Europa League.”
...his favourite position: “I prefer to play somewhere just behind where a typical number nine would stand, as you might say nowadays. You’re heavily involved in the game in that position and that’s why I like it there the most. But I also played as striker for Freiburg last season, which I’d never done before, and I enjoyed that too. At the end of the day, though, I don’t really mind where I play because I give it my best no matter what position I’m in.”
...the national team: “It was a very turbulent season for me with a pretty quick rise from the Bundesliga 2 into the national team. I really enjoyed the trip to the USA with the Germany squad, but I am realistic about it and know that a lot of the regulars were missing. Nevertheless, I'm still proud to have picked up my first couple of caps for Germany."
...the start to the season: “Our first game is against Darmstadt and the DFB Cup is not something to be taken lightly. We want to survive the first round at all costs to remain in the competition and it’s going to be tough, but we’re going to use the next few weeks to prepare for it as best we can."