After joining Borussia Mönchengladbach from Borussia Dortmund at the start of the winter transfer window, Jonas Hofmann is now looking to kick-start his career.
The 23-year-old faces an immediate reunion with his former club when Gladbach welcome Die Schwarz-Gelben to the BORUSSIA-PARK on Matchday 18.
In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, Hofmann talks about why he joined Gladbach, his aims for the coming months and his excitement ahead of the clash with his former team-mates.
bundesliga.com: Jonas Hofmann, back in October, you were very happy with how you had settled in at Dortmund since returning from 1. FSV Mainz 05. What has changed since then?
Jonas Hofmann: At the start of the season, I was very happy with how much I was playing. After I scored in the 3-0 win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, though [on Matchday 5], it started to go downhill in the Bundesliga. I was still playing in the Europa League, but I only made one more appearance in the league. The Bundesliga is the stage on which you have perform. That's why I started to think about things over Christmas. In the end, everything went very quickly and I decided to join Gladbach. I have more of a chance of playing here than I did in Dortmund.
bundesliga.com: Other clubs were interested in you. Why did you choose Gladbach?
Hofmann: The club were playing in Europe this season, and I hope that will be the case next season as well. That has to be the aim at Borussia Mönchengladbach. After a difficult start to the season, the team showed what they are capable of and the quality they have. Gladbach were a top candidate for me from the very beginning.
bundesliga.com: It is said that you asked Marco Reus for his opinion on Gladbach.
Hofmann: That's right. Marco still holds the club in very high esteem. He spoke very highly about his former team-mates, the backroom staff and the club management.
bundesliga.com: Did you get a good welcome from your new team-mates?
Hofmann: I knew two or three of the lads already, and I got to know the rest of them very quickly during the training camp. I like the fact that the club is structured like a family. Everyone is very trusting and kind. That makes it very easy to feel at home as a new player.
bundesliga.com: Your first game for Gladbach will be against your old club Dortmund...
Hofmann: You could say that only football writes stories like this. It would have happened anyway at some point (laughs). The fact that it's happening so soon makes me very happy. I've only been away from Dortmund for a few weeks – it will probably feel more like a friendly or a training game. I know the guys very well, after all.
bundesliga.com: Have you been in touch with your former team-mates since you moved?
Hofmann: I was in Dortmund again at the beginning of January, and I said goodbye to everyone just before the training camp. I've spoken on the phone and on WhatsApp to a few of the guys since then. When you play for a club for such a long time, it would be strange if you hadn't made a few good friends in that time.
bundesliga.com: How would you describe the way Dortmund play?
Hofmann: Dortmund's game is based on intense pressing and having a lot of possession so they can dominate large periods of the game.
bundesliga.com: That sounds similar to the way Gladbach play under Andre Schubert...
Hofmann: Exactly. We also want to have the ball as much as possible in order to impose ourselves on the game. You might expect a game between two similar teams to get very chaotic. That is possible. But in football, things can also turn out very differently to the way they're expected.
Jonas Hofmann was speaking to Andreas Kötter.