Werder Bremen coach Florian Kohfeldt and teammates Claudio Pizarro and Ludwig Augustinsson have heaped praise on USA international Josh Sargent after the 18-year-old scored just 86 seconds into his first appearance for Die Grün-Weißen.
Sargent rounded off a 3-1 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf on Friday, becoming the fastest debutant goalscorer for Werder; beating Hugo Almeida’s previous record of netting three minutes into his maiden start for Bremen in 2006.
The American teenager nodded home with his first touch, repeating a knack of making an instant impact that begun in May this year when Sargent scored his first senior international goal at the first attempt.
And Sargent’s efforts drew warm applause from elder Werder statesman - and a man who knows a thing or two about scoring goals himself - Pizarro.
“It’s great. I’m very happy for him,” he told bundesliga.com exclusively after the game. “He was working very hard and he had his chance to score. It was his first time with the squad, first time on the pitch and he scored. It’s very important. I think it’ll give him confidence for the next games,” said the legendary Peru forward.
Swedish left-back Augustinsson was equally pleased for the Werder freshman, describing his record-breaking efforts as “crazy”.
“He was on the pitch two minutes and then he scored. He’s very dangerous and always in the right place. It’s crazy because he’s only 18,” he added.
Watch: Pizarro waxes lyrical about Sargent after dream debut
It was a day Sargent will never forget and suggests a bright future for the man from Missouri, whom his coach - Kohfeldt - heralded post-match for his gifts in and around the penalty area.
“As a player, his skills are that he’s so good in the box,” said Kohfeldt before praising Sargent for his patience in first waiting for and then taking his opportunity. “If you get the ball in the box you always think ‘ok, perhaps it could work’. But he’s very young and he must develop.”
And while Kohfeldt reiterated the need for Sargent to remain calm in his quest for further first-team opportunities, the Bremen boss couldn’t hide his delight in seeing the young forward claim the first senior goal of his club career.
“It’s not the beginning of being in the starting XI of even the squad every week. We do it step-by-step and I’m glad that he’s patient as well,” added Kohfeldt.
“We talk a lot and this was a big day for him as well and I really enjoyed seeing him score. So tonight, he’s allowed to celebrate a bit and tomorrow we restart training.”