Werder Bremen’s recent capture of midfielder Naby Keita came as a complete surprise, but sent out a signal of intent from the Grün-Weißen. Another move that may have gone under some people’s radar was that of 18-year-old US youth talent Ethan Kohler, of whom the club have great expectations. Could he follow in the footsteps of compatriot Josh Sargent or even become to Werder what Jude Bellingham did for Borussia Dortmund?
It is still very early in the teenager’s career, but Werder have seen enough to bring the youngster to Germany after being impressed by what they have seen whilst tracking his progress at Oakland Roots in the American second tier.
“Ethan is a very ambitious player with a good overview and a good understanding of the game. He is well trained in football and can play both as a central defender and as a midfielder,” said Clemens Fritz , head of professional football and scouting at Werder in a club statement. “We see him primarily in the six position and want to develop him further with us.”
It is believed that Kohler, who has Indonesian roots, will be used with Werder’s second team at first and with the U-19’s but the aim to integrate him into the first team as soon as he is ready. The hope will be that he follows a similar swift progression to that enjoyed by Josh Sargent, who broke through after signing from Sporting Kansas before ultimately being sold to Norwich in England for €9.5 million.
“Of course it is a huge step for me to move from America to Europe, but Werder is a big club in Germany and I’m really looking forward to the challenge in Bremen” he said.