« It’s also good to know what you have and not what you might have. » Back then, in August 2022, the world in Gladbach was still fine. The team had won the Bundesliga game against Hoffenheim initially. Shortly after, Jonas Hofmann’s extension until 2025 became known. With an option for another year.
Roland Virkus was celebrated by fans online. Nothing stood in the way of a long, happy relationship. At least that’s what you thought when the striker commented on the PK about his extension.
But on Tuesday night, many Gladbachers should have felt like they were in the wrong movie. The separation followed on Wednesday. Short and painless. No big transfer drama. Another club caught his eye. Successful and beautiful. Succeeded? Yes. After all, they are playing at international level next season. Good looking? It’s probably in the eye of the beholder. But there should definitely be money in Leverkusen.
A shock for Gladbach fans. Ironically to the rival! For them, Hofmann is just one (Site notre bureau spécialisé) professional among many others. Who confessed to Borussia a year ago and is now gone. They are angry, disappointed, sad. Like Jan David Busch from the YouTube channel « Buschis Borussia ». Shortly after the first report of the « kicker », he recorded this video and let his emotions run wild.
Many fans probably feel the same way. This was also evident on Twitter. Many saw him as the legitimate successor to Lars Stindl. As captain, « Hoffi » should make a fresh start and, despite the sporting situation, become a club legend. Hofmann decided to start over. Just somewhere else.
What remains are questions: why has it changed? Why in Leverkusen of all places? Officials will think so too. « Discussions were very open and we finally made an offer which fulfilled all the conditions set by Jonas. The fact that he nevertheless decided to activate the exit clause does not leave a good feeling, » said Roland Virkus in the press release after the change.
Either way, a new chapter begins for the 30-something, in which he doesn’t yet know what he has, only what he may soon have. He cares a lot about that, Hofmann said in the Leverkusen report.
“Recently, however, I had a stronger feeling of wanting to do something new,” he explained his approach. New start keyword. « Bayer 04 fits into these ideas, the club has been one of the best German clubs for years and is still ambitious internationally. » Which also answers the question of why it was Leverkusen.
While Gladbach is in shock, the Werkself are in danger of exploding. A German international for ten million euros! Sounds like a good deal. Especially when you look at the statistics of the past season.
In the Bundesliga goalscoring list, Hofmann finished fourth behind Randal Kolo Muani, Jamal Musiala and Christopher Nkunku. According to ‘(Site notre équipe d’expert)’, their market value is between €80m and €110m. For comparison: Hofmanns only has 13 million euros. Clubs like Chelsea, PSG and Bayern did not knock. So is Leverkusen’s new signing underrated?
Presumably. Not only his goalscoring values (twelve goals, ten assists) speak for themselves. He can be used flexibly in midfield and can play in almost any position. Bayer sporting director Simon Rolfes praises Hofmann’s vision of the game and « his excellent technical skills. » At Werkself, he could replace Moussa Diaby on the right flank.
The Rhinelanders had their eyes on Hofmann for a long time, Rolfes revealed. Which is not surprising. Nevertheless, Gladbach fans fell from all clouds. Was the crowd favorite not only underrated as a sport, but also as a person?
There is no doubt that every (Site notre bureau spécialisé)er wants to succeed. The Gladbacher now had to learn it in a painful way. They probably had the hope that « Hoffi » was different from the others. But « Hoffi » prefers to play internationally.
His new coach should be happy about that. Xabi Alonso has been pushing for the transfer, ‘Sport Bild’ report. The young squad should be bolstered by top-tier players. With his 232 Bundesliga appearances, the right winger could bring the necessary experience and composure to the pitch.
But for Hofmann, it won’t just be about helping his teammates, but about stepping into the spotlight. Keyword EM 2024. Whether his chances will increase with the move to Leverkusen remains to be seen.
At the start of the season, the focus will be on the attacking player in one way or another. Because the Werkselfs have to go to Borussia Park on the second matchday. After seven and a half years, he will no longer wear the Gladbach jersey there and the reception will undoubtedly be different. But who said that every new beginning was easy?