Janßen era begins for St. Pauli as Luca-Milan Zander becomes third new player

FC St. Pauli have announced that they have signed Luca-Milan Zander on a two-year loan deal from Werder Bremen.

The 20-year-old right-back will be hoping to gain experience with the 2. Bundesliga club over the next couple of seasons, with his parent club holding no option to recall him.

His arrival was announced as St. Pauli begun pre-season training, with new coach Olaf Janßen taking charge for the first time.

St. Pauli “best chance” for first team experience

Zander’s two appearances for Bremen came in the Bundesliga in the 2015-16 season, including a start in the 6-0 defeat at VfL Wolfsburg in November 2015.

He has though amassed experience playing for the club’s second team in the third and fourth tiers of German football over the past few years, including 31 3. Liga appearances in the season just gone as they narrowly avoided relegation. He has also won two caps at under-20 level for Germany.

Bremen sporting director Frank Baumann said they hoped that Zander “will get regular game time” with St. Pauli, with Zander himself adding that he felt that they offered “the best chances to develop as a player.”

Baumann’s counterpart at St. Pauli, Andreas Rettig, said that they had been “hugely impressed” with the player’s “determination” to make the deal happen, whilst Janßen believes “he has good pace” and that he will be “a constant source of pressure” on the right side of the pitch.

Janßen expecting a tough season

Later in the day, Janßen took charge of training for the first time since replacing Ewald Lienen, now the club’s technical director, as head coach. Zander was missing due to recent dental surgery, although the club’s other new signings, Sami Allagui and Clemens Schoppenhauer, did take part.

Beforehand, Janßen spoke to the media, saying that he was “absolutely delighted” to begin in earnest but admitted it was “a different feeling” driving to the training coach as the man in charge.

He discussed the differences between him and his predecessor, taking more of a back-seat role in training “as I want to have a feel for the whole.” He also said he would find his “own way” to connect with the “fantastic support,” rather than the pre-match lap of the pitch that Lienen was known for.

Despite their impressive end to last season, where they ended up finishing seventh having spent most of the season in a relegation battle, Janßen was cautious heading into the new campaign. “We’ll continue on our and take each game as it comes,” he said. He also thinks that “10 to 15 teams” could be competing at the top of the table next season. “The competition will be fierce.”

Round-up: Heidinger brings experience to Kiel

Further north, promoted Holstein Kiel continued to prepare for the new season on Monday by bringing in right-back Sebastian Heidinger from SC Paderborn 07. He becomes their fifth signing and their second to arrive from Paderborn, following Lukas Kruse.

The 31-year-old is an experienced 2. Bundesliga campaigner, having played 79 games in the division for five different clubs, most recently SpVgg Greuther Fürth, who he left for Paderborn just in January.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Fürth completed yet another free transfer, bringing in Maximilian Wittek from 1860 Munich. SV Sandhausen have also brought in Eroll Zejnullahu on a year’s loan from 1. FC Union Berlin, although the 22-year-old has also extended his contract with die Eisern until 2019.

Quotes via Werder Bremen and FC St. Pauli.