Werder Bremen hoped to have found their replacement for Claudio Pizarro on deadline day with the signing of Ishak Belfodil.
The Algerian international striker joins on loan from Standard Liège for the rest of the season, with an option to buy included in the deal.
On the back of his most successful season
Belfodil started his professional career in France with Olympique Lyonnais with his career then taking to Italy, where he played for Bologna, Parma (in two spells), Inter Milan and AS Livorno.
He joined Liège last summer after a year in the United Arab Emirates with Baniyas SC, and in Belgium he had one of the most prolific seasons of his career to date, scoring a total of 14 goals in 32 Jupiler Pro League appearances (as well as setting up six more), plus three in five in the UEFA Europa League. He has been capped 14 times by Algeria, scoring twice.
Having scored no more than eight in a season in any of Europe’s top leagues before than – in his first spell with Parma in 2012-13 – a step up to the Bundesliga could be a tough ask, but Bremen will be hoping he can still contribute key goals for them this season.
Another option for Werder’s forward line
Bremen’s Sporting Director Frank Baumann said on Thursday that the 25-year-old “is a talented striker with a big physical presence,” which makes him “the perfect type of striker that we wanted to bring in.” Baumann believes that he will “give us another strong option up front.”
Belfodil himself said that “Werder is a huge club with lots of traditional and amazing fans.” He is naturally “really excited for the season ahead,” adding that he “can’t wait to play in the Bundesliga.”
Belfodil has been handed the number 29 shirt, and will be competing with the likes of Max Kruse, Fin Bartels and Aron Jóhannsson for the right to lead the Bremen line. He could make his debut against Hertha BSC next weekend.
In the run-up to the closing of transfer window, the club also loaned out Thanos Petsos to Rapid Vienna and Sambou Yatabaré to Royal Antwerp. Levent Aycicek has joined SpVgg Greuther Fürth on a permanent basis.
Quotes via Werder Bremen.