Fortuna Düsseldorf have made two new additions to their squad, with Rouwen Hennings coming in on loan from Burnley and goalkeeper Justin Vom Steeg coming from American college team UC Santa Barbara.
However it is Hennings that will get the Fortuna faithful most excited, with the 2. Bundesliga’s top scorer from two seasons ago returning after a difficult year in England.
He joins on a one year loan deal from the Clarets, whilst Vom Steeg signs a one-year deal, following the news that third-choice keeper Tim Wiesner requires a shoulder operation.
Can he replicate his success at Karlsruhe?
Hennings, who turns 29 later this week, is a proven goal scorer at this level, with his three years with Karlsruher SC between 2012 and 2015 his most productive. He scored 36 goals in 95 games, as was the top scorer in the second tier with 17 when Karlsruhe finished third in 2014-15, just missing out on promotion in the play-off against Hamburger SV.
That form caught the attention of Burnley, who signed him last summer following their relegation to the Championship. However he struggled to make an impact, starting in just three of his 37 league appearances, with a sole goal against Cardiff City. He also started, and scored in, an FA Cup match against Middlesbrough.
Unsurprisingly he was not in their plans following their promotion back to the Premier League, with the former Hamburg, VfL Osnabrück and FC St. Pauli man now afforded the opportunity to pick up where he left off in Germany with Düsseldorf.
Big signing for Fortuna
Head coach Friedhelm Funkel is delighted that the club have been able to capture an experienced striker like Hennings. “[He] has already has lasting proof of his quality in the 2. Bundesliga,” he said. “He is a prolific attacker who will help us as a team.”
Hennings said that “in the many direct duels I’ve had with Fortuna I have always perceived them as a very likeable club.” He is also looking forward to playing regularly again after a difficult season, and added “It is my greatest goal to help the team to succeed.”
He could come straight into the side for their game away at 1. FC Kaiserslautern next Monday, with winger Ihlas Bebou having started their last two games as central striker, contributing a goal in each.
A new third-choice 'keeper
The arrival of Van Steeg is a less high-profile one, with the 19-year-old USA youth player coming in to act as third choice behind Michael Rensing and Lars Unnerstall.
His arrival comes following Weisner, who played mostly for their second team last season, picking up a serious shoulder injury, which was operated on earlier this month.
Van Steeg himself is delighted to join the club. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to be playing and training here,” he said. “For me it has always been a big dream to play in Europe and I am looking forward to the challenge here.”