Håvard Nordtveit leaves West Ham to move to Hoffenheim

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim have brought Håvard Nordtveit back to Germany, with the Norwegian midfielder signing a five-year deal.

It comes just a year after leaving Borussia Mönchengladbach for West Ham United, but his second stint England proved to be an unhappy one, and he leaves after just twelve months for an undisclosed fee.

He is Hoffenheim’s third signing of the summer, following Florian Grillitsch and Justin Hoogma.

Back to the Bundesliga

After failing to make the breakthrough as a youngster at Arsenal, Nordtveit moved to Gladbach in January 2011, and over five-and-a-half years with the Foals his career got going.

He was a first choice in midfield, or defence if required, throughout his time at Borussia-Park, eventually making 152 Bundesliga appearances for Gladbach, as well as playing in the UEFA Champions League during his final season.

He joined West Ham on a free transfer last summer, but it was a tough season for both club and player, with the soon to be 27-year-old describing it as “less than ideal”. He appeared just 16 times in the Premier League as the Hammers struggled to adapt to their new home at the former Olympic Stadium.

He season did end on a high note, as he captained Norway for the first time against Sweden, in his 32nd appearance for his country. And he is now back in Germany with Hoffenheim.

Nagelsmann to use Nordtveit as a defender?

Alexander Rosen, Hoffenheim’s director of professional football, feels that Nordtveit is “more than just a strong addition” to the team on the field but also “a big personality off the pitch.”

Coach Julian Nagelsmann meanwhile thinks that Nordtveit gives his side “another dimension,” singling out his ability to play in a back-four or back-three – which he did regularly in his last season at Gladbach – as well as being able to play as a defensive midfielder.

As for the player, he is hoping that he can “make the impact” that the club is hoping for, and he said that their “playing style” and their “efforts to bring me to the club” were key reasons for making the move.

As well as making Nordtveit their latest new signing, Hoffenheim have also handed youngsters Stafan Posch and Robin Hack their first professional contracts this week. Nagelsmann himself, as well as Nadiem Amiri, have also signed new deals since the end of the season.

Quotes via TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.