- Jannik Vestergaard joins Gladbach on a five-year deal from SV Werder Bremen.
- The 23-year-old Dane will team up with compatriot Andreas Christensen in defence.
- Vestergaard eager to prove he can play at Gladbach's level.
In this exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, Vestergaard, who becomes the 17th Dane to don Gladbach's colours, discusses his first few days at the club, a potential partnership with international team-mate Andreas Christensen and his objectives for the season.
"Everyone gets along well with each other here and it's a very close-knit group."
bundesliga.com: Jannik Vestergaard, you have been at Gladbach for a few days now. What were your first impressions?
Jannik Vestergaard: I already know a few of the lads. That has made what was already a problem-free period of adaptation at Gladbach even easier and has helped me learn the unwritten rules of the dressing room quicker than I would have done otherwise (laughs). For example, I know Jonas Hofmann and Tobias Strobl from the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim youth team. And I've already played a lot with my compatriot Andreas Christensen in the Denmark U-21s and more recently in the senior team. Overall, my impression has been that everyone gets along well with each other here and that we're a very nice, very close-knit group. And in terms of our football: the first time you're out on the pitch with the boys you can tell straight away the quality the team has. Everyone can play here.
bundesliga.com: You German grandfather lives in Krefeld (editor's note: a town near Mönchengladbach), and a relative of yours is even at Gladbach with you…
Vestergaard: That's right. My cousin Mika will be in the U-15s this season. It's nice to have some of the family so close by.
bundesliga.com: Before your transfer were you aware of the long tradition of Danish players at Gladbach, such as Ulrik le Fevre, Henning Jensen, Allan Simonsen and Andreas Christensen?
Vestergaard: Gladbach are very popular in Denmark, especially as so many Danes have been successful here. Denmark isn't a very big country, which is why Danes are even more proud of compatriots who are successful on an international stage, regardless of whether they're footballers, designers, musicians or actors.
"I'd like to find out if I can keep up at this level."
bundesliga.com: So you would have moved to Gladbach even if Christensen had not already there?
Vestergaard: Absolutely! Borussia is a club that has been superbly run for a number of years. They have a very young team that plays great football. I'd like to find out if I can keep up at this level and make the next step in my development. The fact that I can play alongside Andreas is a bonus.
bundesliga.com: Thanks to your experience playing with Christensen for Denmark, a central defensive partnership with you two for Gladbach would not need much time to establish a rapport…
Vestergaard: That experience definitely won't hurt us. But I think that it works the other way too: that the Denmark national team above all will feel the benefit of Andreas and I training together on a daily basis, and maybe playing together too.
bundesliga.com: You are also able to play in defensive midfield…
Vestergaard: That's right, but I view myself as a centre-back and I believe that's primarily why I was brought here. However, obviously I'll help out wherever the team needs me.
bundesliga.com: What objectives have you set yourself for your first season at Gladbach?
Vestergaard: I'd like to work my way up to Gladbach's level and show what I'm capable of. Obviously I'd like to play as much as possible, but in order to do so you have to work hard every day.
bundesliga.com: What do you think Gladbach can achieve?
Vestergaard: Borussia started the season very badly last term but it turned into a very good year. That shows that you should wait a couple of matchdays before making any predictions. I'm certainly not going to say we need to finish in a certain league position right now. We'll have a lot of games. If we can produce good football consistently in all three competitions – which is a challenge because it's a huge strain on your body and mind – then that would be great.
Jannik Vestergaard was speaking to Andreas Kötter