Hannover strike trouble transfer blow

Hannover 96 have announced their first and second new signings of the summer, with Franck Evina and Valmir Sulejmani joining the club.

Evina signs from Bayern Munich whilst Sulejmani rejoins the club where he started his career after two successful years with Waldhof Mannheim.

Evina moves on from Bayern

Left winger Evina has been given a three-year deal at the HDI-Arena. He only made two appearances for the Bayern first team but played for their youth teams including their U23s in the Regionalliga.

After a brief spell with Holstein Kiel at the end of the 2018-19 season, he spent last year with KFC Uerdingen in the 3. Liga, collecting five goals and six assists over the course of 30 games.

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Sporting director Gerhard Zuber said that Evina is “a young, very capable player who wants to take the next step in his career with us. We expect a lot from him in the future, but we will give him the time to develop.”

Coach Kenan Kocak meanwhile describes him as “highly talented” and believes his flexibility in the front line will “increase our possibilities.”

Evina himself said that his discussions with the club were “convincing” and that he has “a good feeling with the concept and the perspective” for both his and the club’s future.

Sulejmani “home again”

The arrival of Sulejmani from Mannheim, also of the 3. Liga, has been much anticipated with news of the club’s interest in bringing him back after two years away being known for weeks.

The 24-year-old came through the club’s youth system, making his first team debut at the age of 17 in 2013 but only playing 10 further times before leaving two years ago. He scored six goals for Mannheim in the season just gone, with four assists, despite being limited to 18 games due to injuries.

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Zuber says the club “trust” him to make the step up to the second tier, adding that “sometimes it is just the right thing for a young player to take a step away from home to gain experience and grow.” Kocak, who calls Mannheim home so will have seen plenty of him, is “convinced of his qualities” and is “happy” they could beat other 2. Liga teams to his signature.

“I’m happy to be back home,” says Sulejmani himself. “The time in Mannheim did me good – I grew up and developed in many ways.” He is “looking forward to the start of training” next month and hopes to “get as much playing time as possible.”

The pair are the first new signings of the summer but a third, of sorts, is in the works with discussions on a deal to sign Jannes Horn on loan again from Köln. There has also been plenty of speculation over the futures of Waldemar Anton, linked with Stuttgart, and Linton Maina, courted by Wolfsburg.

Published by jamesrees1989

Football writer. 2. Bundesliga geek. Ex-Football Radar, VAVEL, Read Bundesliga. Tweets at @germanpyramid and @OxonFootball.

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