“It was probably the only way we were going to get him,” Bremen sporting director Frank Baumann explained. If they had waited till the end of the current season, Delaney would have been available on a free transfer and there would most likely have been quite a scramble for his services.
The 25-year-old midfielder made more than 200 competitive appearances for Kobenhavn, latterly as skipper, after emerging from their youth ranks. He won four Superliga titles there and has been turning out at senior level for Denmark since 2013. “He's a hard-running player of the kind we can really use. Thomas has come on in leaps and bounds over the past two years,” says Baumann of his new signing.
Such has been his progress that he has now made the logical leap into one of Europe's top leagues. “I've a good feeling about Werder,” said Delaney at his formal unveiling, “Things are moving in the right direction, the team are improving.” Over the opening half of the season he got another taste of UEFA Champions League action with Kobenhavn, chipping in with a goal and an assist to help his hometown club finish third in their group and at least qualify for the Europa League. Now, he is ready for the Bundesliga.
He got an immediate idea of what to expect in the Bundesliga in Bremen’s 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 17, and he looked more than ready for his new challenge. “I think it was a great performance,” said his coach Alexander Nouri. “Thomas was very present and showed that he can be a very, very important player for us, and that he can get even better.”
Bremen have another home game on Matchday 18 – against FC Bayern München – with Delaney forced to learn the hard way. “Dortmund and Bayern are great teams, but we shouldn't view these games in isolation,” the new signing reflected. “We could start with no points, but it doesn't have to mean anything.” Clearly not one to indulge in idle football fantasies, Thomas Delaney will be more than happy to let his feet do the talking for Bremen.