- New Hamburg signing arrives with an Olympic gold medal
- Brazilian full-back in Europe for the second time.
- 22-year-old hoping to make it big in Hamburg.
Just a day before the transfer window closed last week, Hamburger SV confirmed one of the most exciting signings of the summer.
Douglas dos Santos Justino de Melo, or Douglas Santos for short, arrived in northern Germany fresh from winning the gold medal at the Olympic Games, signing a five-year contract after moving from Brazilian top-flight team Atletico Mineiro.
The length of the deal underlines just how much the Red Shorts believe in their new left-back, after HSV's CEO Dietmar Beiersdorfer flew to Rio de Janeiro to take a closer look at the player for himself. "We're delighted that we've managed to strengthen our defence with such a good, talented player so close to the transfer deadline," said Beiersdorfer upon his return.
Watch: Check out more of Hamburg's summer signings below:
During the Olympics, Santos was in the starting XI of all six of his side's matches. He is back in Europe having already had spells as a 19-year-old with FC Granada and Udinese Calcio, and with the experience of 53 Brazilian league matches and 16 Copa Libertadores games to look back on.
Now, he is ready to follow in the footsteps of many of his compatriots in the Bundesliga. "I'm a big fan and thank God I can now be part of it," he said. "I followed the Bundesliga a lot in Brazil."
Watch: Hamburg's stars in action at their pre-season media day:
Beiersdorfer had followed Santos a lot too and spoke of his delight at managing to beat numerous other clubs to the signing of a "promising" player, who will ensure more competition for places at full-back while giving coach Bruno Labbadia a further attacking option, since "Douglas has qualities there too."
Santos will now be given time to settle into his new surroundings and nobody is putting any pressure on the new number six. "I need to get to know my team-mates and the coaching team as quickly as I can," said the 22-year-old. "I want to give it my best and of course help the team as quickly as possible to win as many games as we can, but I've got to get used to the Bundesliga first."
He will get his first opportunity to do so on Matchday 2 when his league debut beckons against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. And after Costa struck gold this summer, HSV are hoping they have too.