Ingolstadt and Fürth strengthen further ahead of Saturday kick-off
Paulo Otavio. | Photo: FC Ingolstadt 04.

As they prepare to open their 2. Bundesliga campaigns on Saturday, both FC Ingolstadt 04 and SpVgg Greuther Fürth have brought in further reinforcements to their squads.

Brazillian full-back Paulo Otavio joins Ingolstadt after a year in Austria with LASK Linz, signing a four-year deal with die Schanzer.

Meanwhile the Shamrocks strengthen the heart of their defence, with Mario Maloca joining on loan from Lechia Gdansk for the coming season.

Otavio and Gaus battle to fill Suttner void

Following the loss of Markus Suttner to Brighton & Hove Albion, Ingolstadt were on the lookout for a new left-back, with Otavio set to fill the bill. Although neither club has commented on the transfer fee, Ingolstadt are believed to have spent in excess of €1 million for his services.

The 22-year-old arrived in Europe a year ago, joining Linz from Tombense Futebol Clube in Brazil. Two goals and seven assists in 28 appearances helped fire the club to the Erste Liga title, securing them promotion to the Austrian Bundesliga. He also played his part as they reached the semi-finals of the ÖFB-Cup.

Harald Gärtner, Ingolstadt’s sport and communications manager director, said that Otavio is “a technically accomplished, explosive man for the wings, who brings with him a lot of talent.” With fellow new arrival Marcel Gaus also able to fill the left wing-back position, Gärtner feels that they have now “doubled” their options on that side of the pitch.

Otavio himself said that he is “looking forward to my new challenge” with Ingolstadt. He adds that he wants to “continue developing” with them, and he is “looking forward” to meeting up with his new team-mates. He is currently carrying a knee injury however, so it remains to be seen if he will be involved against 1. FC Union Berlin on Saturday.

Maloca another option for Fürth’s defence – once fit

With Richárd Magyar injured and Marcel Franke having left for Norwich City, Fürth head coach János Radoki needed an extra body to fill his three-man defence, which Maloca’s arrival will bring him – once he recovers from a toe injury that is.

The 28-year-old, who won a solitary cap for Croatia in 2012, joined Gdansk from Hajduk Split in 2015. He had appeared in over 200 games for Split, including in the UEFA Europa League, whilst in his two years in the north of Poland he played in 59 Ekstraklasa matches, chipping in with three goals along the way.

Fürth’s director of professional football Ramazan Yildirim told the club’s website that Maloca “has enormous experience and we are delighted that he has come to the Shamrocks.”

Radoki added that he is a player who has “grown tall,” and is capable of playing in both three-man and four-man defences. He confirmed that Maloca will miss Saturday’s trip to SV Darmstadt 98 due to his injury, but expects him to join training in the next few days.

Quotes via FC Ingolstadt 04 and SpVgg Greuther Fürth.