bundesliga.com rounds-up the key quotes to come out of the former 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Bayer 04 Leverkusen forward’s first press conference following his return to Germany’s top flight from Premier League table-toppers Chelsea FC…
…his deadline-day transfer
I’m delighted to be here. The last few days have been tough and did my nerves no favours. I spent a lot of time on my mobile phone waiting for a call or a text. I never doubted it, but I’m delighted that it’s all come to fruition and to be part of this team.
…settling in Wolfsburg
I had Wolfsburg players contacting me and asking whether I needed restaurant recommendations and things like that. I spent half a season with Kevin De Bruyne at Chelsea and even got some tickets for a Chelsea game for Daniel Caligiuri a while ago. So there are already a few familiar faces and I don’t think it will take me long to settle in.
…breaking into the first team
It’s always easier to get into a team when things are going well. I already feel good here and am ready to get out onto the pitch for the good of the team. The lads here will help me get back to my standard of play. I’m really excited.
...his role for Wolfsburg
I believe that I’m suitably flexible. I’m happy playing on the left or perhaps more centrally. My position of preference is on the left, but I want to integrate myself and lend a helping hand as soon as possible in whatever way I can. It’s up to the head coach where he decides to deploy me.
…his time with Chelsea
I had a good time there. My first season was good and I was a regular in the team after the World Cup. An illness set me back and I never really found my stride again after that. I will never regret the move to Chelsea. It was a great experience for me. It’s a great club with great players and great staff. I developed as a player and improved my game there. I learned a lot during my time there and enjoyed working with Jose Mourinho.
...deciding to join Wolfsburg
Back in November, December, I gave interviews saying that I wanted to stay at Chelsea, but the last couple of weeks, the opportunity to change something was tempting because I wanted to do what I love and what is fun for me and that is to play football. I could only do it briefly at Chelsea in the past weeks and it was clear that Wolfsburg would afford me the opportunity to do that more often. The concept the club presented convinced me and I’m delighted to be a part of it.
…Wolfsburg’s season so far
The team have been playing really well in the Rückrunde. We saw what they’re capable of on Friday, the 4-1 win against Bayern only increased my levels of anticipation, and yesterday in coming from behind against Frankfurt. This squad is full of superb players. I want to slot into the team as soon as possible.
…challenging Bundesliga leaders FC Bayern for the title
We’ve got to see whether we can challenge. Bayern are an incredible team and will always be one of the top clubs in the league. They had an unbelievable season last year and a fantastic first half of the season, but our focus has to be on picking up points and then we’ll see what happens.
…old friends in the Bundesliga
I’ve always stayed in contact with the likes of Marco Reus and Mario Götze and they’re pleased that I’m back in the Bundesliga and that we’ll be facing off against one another in the league again, as competitors. But I’ve got to concentrate on putting in convincing performances.