One of the worst-kept secrets of this Bundesliga winter transfer window has now been officially confirmed: Sandro Wagner is switching from TSG Hoffenheim to FC Bayern Munich, effective immediately, and has signed a contract through the summer of 2020.
After a well-deserved vacation, he will join the club in their (abbreviated) winter training camp in January, and will be eligible to play for the club in all competitions.
Sandro Wagner is a local boy, born and raised in Munich. After joining FC Bayern Munich at the tender age of eight years old, and progressing all the way through the youth ranks to the reserves and then the senior team in 2007 — albeit in only a few spot appearances— he took off on a very long round trip around Germany to pursue his career. After stops in Duisburg, Bremen, Kaiserslautern, Berlin, Darmstadt, and Hoffenheim, the 30-year old has finally made it back to his first club. Even though he was hired as a backup to undisputed starter Robert Lewandowski, and will almost certainly see a huge decline in playing time, he is right where he wants to be, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and back together with his family and friends.
I am ecstatic. A long trip is coming to an end, I’m coming back home to my club, to my homeland.
He has picked a somewhat curious number for a forward, deciding to wear the number 2. Why? Well, his favorite, 14, was already taken — Juan Bernat snagged it as soon as Xabi Alonso retired last season — but he sees some significance in his choice:
I find the 2 quite appropriate, it’s my second attempt here, from that perspective I find the number very pleasant and hope that it brings me good luck.
The transfer fee? It’s being reported as €13 million, which appears to be a hefty fee for a guy who will find himself on the bench more often than not. But, for Bayern, it’s an amount that is easily manageable, especially in terms of being able to rest Lewandowski throughout the rest of the season so he can be fresh when the stakes get high at the end of the season, and having a competent striker available if the leading Bundesliga scorer has to miss some time.
Will this risk his spot on the World Cup roster in the German national team? It doesn’t appear to be, as he discussed his move with Joachim Löw, and the Bundestrainer didn’t advise him against it. Wagner will “probably get enough chances to play”, according to Jogi.
What are your thoughts on this transfer? Does it make sense for Bayern? Was it a good idea for Wagner?