Holger Badstuber joins Schalke on loan

Holger Badstuber is to join Schalke 04 on loan from Bayern Munich for the rest of the season, as he looks to put his long-running injury problems beyond him at long last.

The 27-year-old has been plagued by injuries for four years now, and having struggled to break back into the side following his latest recovery, he will look to gain valuable match practice at the Veltins-Arena.

Although unconfirmed by Bayern, it has also been reported that Badstuber has signed a one-year extension to his existing contract. He will undergo a medical in Gelsenkirchen in the coming days.

Four years of injury woe

Before his well-document problems began, he had been an integral part of both Bayern’s and Germany’s defences. Having made his debut under Louis Van Gaal in 2009, he has so far made 119 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern. He has also won 31 caps for Germany, and was part of their 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012 squads.

However after twice rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, he did not play for twenty months between December 2012 and August 2014. Despite making his comeback at the start of the 2014-15, he was soon ruled out until the end of 2014 after tearing a tendon against VfB Stuttgart, with further muscle and ankle problems having continued to hamper him since then.

Since recovering from his latest setbacks he has only been able to make three appearances for the Bayern first team. He appeared from the bench in two games against FC Augsburg at the end of October and played a full 90 minutes in the defeat at FK Rostov in November.

His involvement though has been limited by the presence of Jérôme Boateng, Mats Hummels and Javi Martínez in Carlo Ancelotti’s squad. That had left Badstuber seeking a loan move to finally get back to playing regular football and remind people of what he is capable of.

Hamburger SV and Manchester City had shown an interest, with the latter now managed by former Bayern coach Pep Guardiola, who was a big fan of Badstuber. However he has decided to join the Royal Blues for the rest of the season.

Badstuber looking forward to playing more

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge chairman said that Badstuber “deserved” the opportunity to play more often after everything he’s been through in the last few years. He also said that the club hoped he would “get plenty of minutes under his belt” over the next few months.

Badstuber he was “thankful” that Bayern permitted him to go out on loan. “I’d like to get some much-needed match practice at Schalke,” he said, and he is naturally “looking forward” to it.

Meanwhile speaking before the deal was confirmed, Schalke’s sporting director Christian Heidel said that Badstuber would “strengthen” the side. “He is one of the best central defenders I know for opening up the game,” he added.

Whilst Bayern have not officially mentioned his contract, reports in Germany are that he did indeed sign an extension to his contract, which is set to run out in the summer, before completing the loan move to Schalke, committing him to the club until at least 2018.

He is the second signing to be made by Schalke this month, who on Monday announced the arrival of Guido Burgstaller from 1. FC Nürnberg.

Quotes via Bayern Munich and Schalke 04.