Leverkusen defender Malcolm Cacutalua signs permanently for Bielefeld
Malcolm Cacutalua | Photo: DSC Arminia Bielefeld

Arminia Bielefeld confirmed on Monday that they have signed German youth international Malcolm Cacutalua from Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

The 21-year-old has signed a two-year contract with the 2. Bundesliga side, having failed to make a single appearance for his old club, although he impressed in a two-year loan spell at VfL Bochum.

He is the fourth signing made by Bielefeld this summer as they look to improve on a solid first season back in the second tier.

An impressive spell with Bochum

Cacutalua joined Leverkusen as a 16-year-old in 2011, but never made the breakthrough to the first team. He appeared 30 times for the second team in the Regionalliga West, contributing one goal as they finished eighth in the 2013-14 season before disbanding.

After a very brief loan spell at SpVgg Gruether Fürth, with just one appearance in the DFB-Pokal, he then moved to Bochum, where he became a regular fixture in the side. He played 23 times over the course of two years, and whilst not always a regular starter proved highly dependable when called on.

He has also appeared for Germany at youth level. He made a substitute appearance for the under-21s in the 6-0 thrashing of the Faroe Islands last season, his sole cap at that level, and he has also appeared 12 times for the under-20 side.

Cacutalua going for a block for Bochum against Bielefeld's Christoph Hemlein | Photo: Westfalen-Blatt/Thomas F. Starke
Cacutalua going for a block for Bochum against Bielefeld's Christoph Hemlein | Photo: Westfalen-Blatt/Thomas F. Starke

Can he break up Börner-Behrendt pairing?

His new boss Rüdiger Rehm believes he has “good prospects” as a player, and adds that “with his high quality he will further improve our squad.”

Cacutalua had only good things to say about his new club. “I am convinced in the club and the playing style of the coach,” he said. “I have always perceived Arminia as a club with a lot of potential and would like to help the team to be successful.”

He will be looking to break up last season’s primary centre-back pairing of Julian Börner and Brian Behrendt. All but one of keeper Wolfgang Hesl’s eight clean sheets last year came with both players in front of him.

Rehm’s side have also signed Florian Hartherz, Manuel Prietl and Tomasz Holota in the close season as they look to improve on last season's 12th-place finish. They open their campaign against Karlsruher SC this Sunday.

Quotes via DSC Arminia Bielefeld.