Meanwhile 1.FC Kaiserslautern brought in their second new player of the week, with former Eintracht Braunschweig captain Marcel Correia signing two days after the arrival of Baris Atik.
Talent and experience for Darmstadt
The Lilies completed a double transfer coup on Thursday, with Gaines joining from VfL Wolfsburg and Lacazette, the cousin of Olympique Lyonnais’s much-coveted Alexandre Lacazette, arriving after 1860 Munich’s double relegation. Both have signed deals until 2020.
Gaines arrived in Germany from American youth club Lonestar SC last summer, and played a major part as their under-19s went the whole regular league campaign unbeaten, before losing in the national play-offs to Borussia Dortmund. The winger’s own contribution amounted to seven goals and nine assists. The Wolves have retained a buy-back option on him as part of the deal.
Lacazette had been with 1860 since joining from Paris Saint-Germain in 2015. After an injury-hit first season, he was a more regular contributor the following season, but was powerless to prevent their relegation out of the 2. Bundesliga. He made 36 appearances in total for the Lions.
Speaking on the club’s website, coach Torsten Frings described Gaines as a “talented” and “extremely fast player,” whilst he believes that Lacazette can help them with his 2. Bundesliga experience. The club also confirmed earlier in the week though that Marcel Heller will leave after four years, having failed to agree a new deal.
Correia adds further experience to the Red Devils’ defence
Kaiserslautern have had a clear focus on strengthening their defensive options so far this summer and have now brought Correia back to the club where he learnt his profession before joining Braunschweig in the summer of 2011.
The 28-year-old made 114 appearances for Braunschweig in his time there, and he was captain for the last two seasons, despite both being hampered by injury, leading to his release at the start of the summer.
Having never made a senior appearance for his hometown team, the centre-back is now looking forward to finally putting that right, whilst he will also be reunited with another new signing in Giuliano Modica, who he played with for the club’s second team. Coach Norbert Meier believes his young side “can use his experience,” with manager Boris Notzon hoping that he will take “a lot of responsibility.”
The Red Devils have been busy this week, also bringing in attacking midfielder Atik on loan from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. After making his debut for Hoffenheim last season, he went on loan to Austrian side SK Sturm Graz where he made a big impact, scoring five goals in 16 games, and he’ll be hoping to repeat that form at the Betze.
Round-up: Croatian winger joins Düsseldorf
Thursday also saw Düsseldorf complete the signing on Lovren, who joins on a two-year loan deal form Dinamo Zagreb, with an option to buy.
The 18-year-old winger scored seven goals for the club’s reserves in Croatia’s second tier last season, and Friedhelm Funkel confirmed that he had caught their eye whilst playing in last year’s UEFA European Under-19 Championship, which was held in Germany.
Elsewhere in the week, Kiel loaned in 20-year-old midfielder Amara Condé from Wolfsburg, whilst Sandhausen have raided the Regionalliga again, signing Marcel Seegert from SV Waldhof Mannheim on a two-year deal.
They have though let Moritz Kuhn leave to join 3. Liga side SV Wehen Wiesbaden. Phil Ofosu-Ayeh has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers after his release from Braunschweig, whilst Manuel Junglas left Arminia Bielefeld on Thursday to sign for FC Viktoria Köln.
Quotes via SV Darmstadt 98 and 1.FC Kaiserslautern.