Having toyed perilously with relegation last season, VfB Stuttgart are looking for a much improved performance this season and have strengthened their forward line with the loan signing of striker Deniz Undav from Premier League side Brighton. Here we take a look at the Swabian’s latest acquisition.
The now 27-year-old was born in Germany in the town of Varel, near Oldenburg and started his career aged 15 at TSV Havelse in the Regionalliga Nord. After impressive scoring stats of 37 goals in 72 games, he made the move to SV Meppen in the 3.Liga where he scored a respectable 24 goals in72 appearances.
His big break however came with a move to Belgium with Union Saint-Gilloise where he banged in 45 goals in 70 games for the minnows as they won promotion to the top division. The rise of Saint-Gilloise in Belgium is akin to that of Union Berlin and Undav was one of the stars of their ascent.
In the January 2022 transfer window he signed for Brighton for a reported 7 million, but was loaned back to Saint-Gilloise for the remainder of the season. Last season for the Seagulls, he scored five goals in 22 appearances for Roberto de Zerbi’s Premier League side. Stuttgart have now signed him on a season-long loan to compliment Serhou Guirassy in attack.
Undav is a very intelligent player in the attacking third, and is a particularly good finisher. He can score from many different situations and is not solely a penalty box striker who finishes chances created for him. He is an excellent technician capable of dropping into space and can create chances for others.
“In Deniz, we’re getting a player who has demonstrated his qualities in different countries and leagues, most recently in the Premier League” explained VfB sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth. “He’s at the perfect age for a footballer and will adapt to the Bundesliga quickly. We’re delighted Deniz chose to come to VfB and we welcome him warmly to Stuttgart.”
The player himself is also glad to back in his homeland and is ready to prove himself in the Bundesliga. “I’m over the moon to be playing in the Bundesliga. VfB made a lot of effort to sign me, so I knew quickly that I wanted to come here. The discussions with the coach were very good and I’m looking forward to getting started with the team.”