Schalke 04 have strengthened their squad ahead of the rest of the Bundesliga season by bringing in both Cedric Teuchert and Marko Pjaca.
Die Knappen confirmed the signing of Teuchert on a three-and-a-half year deal from 1. FC Nürnberg on Wednesday, with the loan move for Juventus’s Pjaca going through on Thursday.
Teuchert follows Schöpf and Burgstaller to the Ruhr
20-year-old Teuchert joins the club after impressing for Nürnberg in recent times. In the first half of this season alone in the 2. Bundesliga, he has scored six goals and created two more to help Der Club to launch a challenge for promotion.
His form also earned him a call-up by Germany under-21s towards the end of 2017, and he has earned three caps at that level so far having represented across all age groups. His departure will be a blow for Nürnberg though, especially after their form dipped last season when Guido Burgstaller made the same move to Gelsenkirchen in January, whilst Alessandro Schöpf had done likewise 12 months before that.
Speaking on the club’s website, Schalke Sporting Director Christian Heidel said that the club had “put a lot of effort into getting Cedric,” and they were “really happy” he had decided to move there. Coach Domenico Tedesco added that he is “a young, talented player who has a bold style of play and a good nose for goal.” He went on to say that they “want to help him blossom” at the Veltins-Arena.
Teuchert has already linked up with the team at their winter training camp in Benidorm, and once there he said that Tedesco had been “one of the biggest attractions” in helping make up his mind. He also said that he had spoken to former Nürnberg team-mates Schöpf and Burgstaller and he thinks that it will “definitely help me settle” as he already knows them, and he hopes that he “can become as central a part to this squad as they are.”
Pjaca hoping to bounce back from long-term injury
After previously playing for NK Lokomotiva Zagreb and GNK Dinamo Zagreb in his native Croatia, Pjaca joins the Royals Blues having struggled to lay down a regular place for Juventus since joining them in 2016 due to injury.
After appearing 14 times in Serie A last season, he had not played at all for the Old Lady this season as recovered from a cruciate ligament injury sustained at the back end of the season, although he impressed Schalke with his performances for their reserve side. He has joined the club for first team football and try to fight his way back into the Croatia squad ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Tedesco believes he will bring “some very special qualities” to his Schalke side, with the left winger, by trade, able to play across the forward line. “He is robust and quick too,” he added, whilst Heidel said they “are confident he will be able to help us straight away.”
He too has joined up with the squad in Spain and, like Teuchert, will hope to be involved against RB Leipzig in their first game since the winter next weekend.
Quotes via Schalke 04.