Hannover 96 have brought Kevin Wimmer back to Germany on a one-year loan from Stoke City, with a view towards a permanent deal.
The 25-year-old has struggled to adapt to life in England since his move from 1. FC Köln to Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2015.
He will now get a chance to get his career back on track in the Bundesliga with Hannover next season.
Austrian struggles to adapt to Tottenham and Stoke
The Austrian defender has caught the eye of Spurs after a couple of solid seasons with Köln, whom he had joined three years earlier from LASK Linz. He was a regular at the heart of their defence as the Billy Goats secured promotion to the Bundesliga and set about securing their place in it the following season.
Spurs bought him for a fee of around £5 million, however he failed to have an impact in the Premier League for them. Just 15 of his 31 appearances for them came in the league, with only an injury to Jan Vertonghen seeing him have a consistent run in the side.
He would have hoped a move to Stoke, for £18 million, would see him turn things around, and he was certainly given a chance by Mark Hughes, the coach who signed him. However, he was held culpable for a number of poor performances and didn’t play a single minute once the Welshman was replaced by Paul Lambert in January.
The Potters were ultimately relegated, and appear content to cut their loses with Wimmer, with his signing being seen as one of a number of misguided signings that have been criticised by those within the club in the fallout from their season.
His character impresses his new coach
Hannover are the club to benefit, taking him on a year’s loan, with an option to purchase him out right in the summer, following a trip to England by Horst Heldt and André Breitenreiter to hold talks with the player.
Breitenreiter said that Wimmer’s character had “convinced” him during their meeting, as well as his “sporting qualities.” He believes that the defender “wants to take responsibility” at Hannover, as well as rediscover his best form.
Wimmer meanwhile said the pair had given him “a very clear idea of what they plan to do” as well as the role he would have within in. “I just had a strong feeling about it,” he added, and he is “very happy that it has worked out.”
He has been handed the number 28 shirt by the club, and will now join the Austria national team for friendlies against Russia, Germany and Brazil, where he will hope to add to his eight caps.
Quotes via Hannover 96.