Bundesliga new boys Fortuna Düsseldorf have completed their tenth signing of the summer, with Matthias Zimmermann joining from VfB Stuttgart.
The 26-year-old, who was surplus to requirements at Stuttgart, arrives on a free transfer, and has signed a contract at the Esprit Arena until 2020.
An option in defence and midfield
Zimmermann leaves Stuttgart after three years, having joined them from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2015. However aside from their campaign in the 2. Bundesliga in the 2016-17 season, when he made 27 appearances and scored in the win over Würzburger Kickers that sealed their return to the top flight, he struggled to make a mark for die Roten, initially being used by the reserves in his first season before missing most of his last due to a cruciate ligament injury.
Only five of his 21 Bundesliga appearances came for Stuttgart, with the majority coming during a loan spell with SpVgg Greuther Fürth in the 2012-13 season. In those days he played as a right-back but has played more as a defensive midfielder since then.
As a result, Friedhelm Funkel may see him either as a replacement for Julian Schauerte, who has left to join KAS Eupen in Belgium, at right-back, or if he will provide another option in midfield to compensate for the loss of Florian Neuhaus, who has returned to parent club Gladbach after a year on loan.
More signings to come
Speaking on the club’s website, Zimmermann said he was, understandably, “looking forward” to playing in Düsseldorf, speaking of previous “exciting duels” against the club whilst adding that he had “always been very fond of the loud support of the fans.” He is eager to “give something back to the club and the supporters” through his performances.
Meanwhile his new coach, Funkel, spoke of Zimmermann’s strengths in running and duels, as well how he can be “used versatilely.” He believes that with his arrival, “our team continues to gain in quality.”
Despite make nine other signings – including committing Benito Raman, Jean Zimmer and Davor Lovren to permanent deals – it appears Düsseldorf aren’t quite done just yet. “Two or three positions are still vacant,” Funkel has confirmed, with a winger and an experience centre-back believed to be their priorities.
Quotes via Fortuna Düsseldorf and Kicker.