Borussia Mönchengladbach’s loan signing of Hannes Wolf from RB Leipzig could be the ideal career choice for the Austrian attacker after enduring a torrid season with RB Leipzig last season. Being reunited with former RB Salzburg trainer Marco Rose looks to be a match made in heaven after things turned sour for him in Saxony.
Back in July 2019 the €12 million signing of attacking midfielder Hannes Wolf seemed a logical move as the 21-year-old followed the well-trodden path from Salzburg to Leipzig looking to take his career to the next level in the Bundesliga with RB.
Then came his horrendous leg break suffered at the European Championships in Italy and his new start at the Red Bull Arena under Julian Nagelsmann was severely setback. With just 16 minutes of Bundesliga action in the entire Hinrunde, the player began to have thoughts of a move away from Leipzig- something that the coach didn’t understand.
“Frankly, I don’t understand the uproar. Nothing has happened yet, it’s not like he was on the bench for six months,” Nagelsmann said in an interview with Kicker.
“He played a few games in a season phase that was very significant. These appearances can be seen as a small glimmer of hope on the one hand, but also as a small gift from the coach on the other hand. “These days, it seems like every player who isn’t playing regularly wants to leave immediately.”
However, with just 42 minutes of substitute action seen in the Rückrunde, the decision has been taken to send Wolf out on loan to Gladbach with a compulsion to buy after achieving a set amount of Bundesliga appearances. The Foals will pay an initial fee of €1.5 million and be liable for a further €9.5 million should the loan work out.
The hope is that under his former RB Salzburg coach Marco Rose it will work out. The two won the Austrian U-16 title as coach and player with Wolf finishing as the top scorer. They won the youth league together in 2018 before taking the Austrian Bundesliga title with RB Salzburg in 2019.
“Hannes is a versatile player, who already played under our coach Marco Rose in Salzburg and will improve our attacking options,” said sporting director Max Eberl on announcing his signing. “He missed a lot of football last season at RB Leipzig due to a long-term injury. We’re pleased that he’s chosen to come here, and we hope we will have a lot of success together.”
Last season saw Marco Rose lead Mönchengladbach to a fourth-place finish in the Bundesliga and Champions League football next season. A key player for them was right back Stefan Lainer, who also played under Rose at Salzburg. The plan is that Wolf is equally as successful at adapting to life at the Borussia Park as his former team-mate.
“I’m really happy that I’ve signed here. I desperately wanted to come here, and I’m pleased the deal has now been completed” Wolf has said. “Borussia Mönchengladbach is a great club. Last season went really well, and we’ll be playing in the Champions League next season. I’m excited for my time here.
“I worked with Marco Rose for five years in Salzburg, so that was a decisive factor for me. He knows me well and we spoke a lot on the phone. That was a key thing for me. I have already spoken to Stefan Lainer too. I asked him for example where is best to live here. I had a good time with Steve in Salzburg, and I hope this continues in Gladbach. Everything else to do with the club made it an easy decision for me too.”
There was a very good reason RB Leipzig prised Wolf away from Salzburg, it’s just a shame the move didn’t work out. Leipzig’s loss could however be Gladbach’s gain and if it is, €11 million seems a small price to pay for a highly talented and promising individual, who the current trainer has a proven track record of getting the best out of.