Hannover 96 have signed American Bobby Wood on a season-long loan from Hamburger SV, with the option of a permanent deal.
The move will give him the chance to continue his year in the Bundesliga, having been unable to prevent Hamburg’s relegation last season.
A difficult time at Hamburg
The Hawaii-born striker emerged through the youth teams of 1860 Munich, and he also had a loan spell with Erzgebirge Aue, before a successful spell with 1. FC Union Berlin. He scored 17 goals in the 2. Bundesliga in the 2015-16 season, form which attracted the interest Hamburg, who were in need of a prolific striker.
Unfortunately for both parties, he struggled to have anything like the same impact with them. He scored just five league goals in his first season, including two in the first two games, although he added four more in the DFB-Pokal.
Last season was even worse for him. He scored just twice in the league (and once in the cup) as the club were relegated from the Bundesliga for the first time in their history. To add insult to injury, he was sent off on the final day against Borussia Mönchengladbach, although it made little difference as the club went down despite a 2-1 victory.
He does though have a good record with his national team though, scoring 12 goals in 39 appearances for the USA, with four of those coming in the last campaign, including in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland in June.
Wood “fits” with Hannover’s style
Talking to Hannover’s official website, Wood said that he had had “very good conversations” with coach André Breitenreiter, explaining that he had a clear idea about what the club wanted to achieve and what his role within that would be. “This is the perfect move for me,” he continued. “I’m confident my style fits with how the team plays.”
Club manager Horst Heldt concurred, saying that Wood was “exactly the type of striker we were looking for.” He called him “a highly-talented player that has already proven his potential” who would fit in well with the team. He admitted that the 25-year-old “has had a difficult time recently,” but feels he can return to the kind of form that had “half the league” trying to sign him.
Wood will begin training with his new teammates on Tuesday, although he will miss the club’s opening game of the season against Werder Bremen due to the red card against Gladbach. He is the second Hamburg player to make the move south this summer, following Walace, and he will help to fill the void left by Martin Harnik and Jonathas who have both departed.
Quotes via Hannover 96 and Bundesliga.