Borussia Mönchengladbach began the winter transfer window with the signing of Jonas Hofmann from rivals Borussia Dortmund, an arrival which underlines the Foals' intent ahead of the second half of the campaign.
Hofmann is now looking to achieve with a new Borussia what he never quite managed at the other: to become a key player.
"Jonas has shown in Mainz and Dortmund that he is an outstandingly talented Bundesliga player," said Gladbach's sporting director Max Eberl.
The attacking midfielder has arrived to prove his new boss right, and finally make the full breakthrough which remained elusive during his Dortmund days, where the competition for places was fierce and intense. With an array of his new attacking team-mates out injured, the versatile Hofmann now has the chance to play regularly and establish himself as one of the Bundesliga's finest talents - starting against his former employers on Matchday 18.
'I want to become an established Bundesliga player'
Gladbach was not Hofmann's only offer either. "They were the ones who did the most to get me and my gut feeling was it was the right thing to do to join them," he himself said on Borussia's website. Dortmund duly accommodated his wishes, not standing in the way of the youngster fulfilling his ambitions. "I want to be playing regularly – just as anybody would," Hofmann told Spox.com prior to the start of the season. "That is what I am working for and I really want to knuckle down and become an established Bundesliga player."
He now has the opportunity to do just that with the Foals, and not only over the final months of this season. Eberl has made it crystal-clear that Hofmann's signing was aimed at a "long-term improvement" of Gladbach's squad. The young winger shares that long-term drive and ambition, saying he cannot wait to "get stuck in and give it everything from 5 January."
Match time in Mainz
Such determination has been evident ever since his youth when he left FC Rot for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at the age of 12. In 2011, he joined Borussia Dortmund, where he began to pick up minutes in the club's reserves before making his first-team debut in December 2012. While he was already part of the first-team squad the following season, match practice was not immediately forthcoming and a loan move to Mainz satisfied all parties instead.
Injuries restricted Hofmann to just 12 Bundesliga matches at the Coface Arena, yet three goals in that time were more than enough to make an impression. "I was suddenly able to do things that people really didn't expect from me," he told Spox.com of his development in Mainz.
That, he claims, was because of the game time he was getting. "I want to be needed, that's how every footballer feels," he said. With Andre Hahn, Patrick Herrmann and Ibrahima Traore all currently sidelined, Hofmann is bound to get what he craves at Gladbach - and the concomitant opportunity to show exactly where he wants to go.