Today, it was confirmed that Sandro Wagner has completed his transfer from Bayern Munich to Chinese club Tianjin TEDA. In an interview with interview with Bild, Wagner confirmed that his second spell with his hometown club was shorter than originally planned. But his feelings for his hometown club remain unchanged:
Of course, my plan was to stay longer in Munich and end my career here. I love this club. But things, unfortunately, turned out differently. I had to accept that. I still will never say a bad word about this club, but rather I wish FC Bayern and its fans only the best.
Wagner stated that Bayern’s front office informed him a while ago that they wouldn’t oppose a transfer, suggesting that Wagner was not so much forced out as given an opportunity to seek more playing time elsewhere. Wagner’s focus now is on what’s ahead in China. He’ll be in good company:
My whole family and many friends are coming along. It feels as if half of Munich is coming to China [laughs].
I’m now really looking forward to China. The Chinese people in charge are making a fantastic impression. Everything has moved along very professionally. Uli Stielike is a great personality, and I’m looking forward to working with him. And aside from soccer, it will be a huge adventure for me and my family. I’ll arrange everything in the coming days and then set off on my way.
In China, Wagner will play under Tianjin TEDA’s head coach, Ulrich “Uli” Stielike. The former German international also spoke to Bild, revealing how pleased he was that Tianjin had signed Wagner.
We were not very effective on offense. So the club decided to look for a full-fledged center-forward. I gave them two or three names, among whom Sando had absolute priority. To be honest, I didn’t think that we actually could get him.
Stielike revealed that Sandro’s former teammate at Hertha, Felix Bastians, played an important part in bringing Sandro to Tianjin. Bastians, who has been at Tianjin a year, gave Sandro his impression of the club and the city.
Stielike hopes that Wagner’s arrival can help Tianjin reach calmer waters after being in the relegation battle the previous years. The 6’4” center-forward Wagner will certainly stand out among the competition. Stielike expects Wagner to be double-teamed regularly in a physical league, but the level of competition should play to the big man’s advantage:
The league is sort of split into three: three clubs play for the title, five in the middle, and eight against relegation. As far as the level is concerned, I’d compare the league with the 2. Bundesliga in Germany.
Good luck, Sandro!