Hannover 96‘s Waldemar Anton has completed his transfer to Bundesliga promoted side VfB Stuttgart.
Die Roten are reported to have splashed out €4 million on the centre-back/defensive midfielder, with bonuses and sell-on fee included. Anton has signed a four-year contract.
His departure from the HDI-Arena can be seen as inevitable after the club failed to come close to winning promotion back to the Bundesliga, despite Kenan Kocak’s apparent keenness to keep him on the books.
Anton had been with the club since he was 11, and made his first team debut in 2016 against his future employers. He ultimately made 137 appearances for Hannover and also served as captain during his time there, despite still only being 24 now.
Sporting director Gerhard Zuber confiormed that Anton had “clearly signaled to us at an early stage that he wanted to leave Hannover 96 to play in the first division again,” and that the club had found “a fair solution” to let go of a player whose “exception quality is not easy to replace.”
“I will always stay connected to Hannover 96. It is my home club, I grew up here,” said Anton himself. “At 96 I experienced incredibly emotional moments that I will never forget,” he continued, “but now a new chapter is beginning for me.”
Anton’s departure leaves a whole in Hannover’s defensive system, putting further pressure on Zuber and Kocak in a summer that they want to refresh the face of the team and deal with numerous other departures.
Stuttgart, who finished second in the 2. Bundesliga last season to win promotion, also confirmed on Tuesday the permanent signing of goalkeeper Gregor Kobel from Hoffenheim.
Header image source: VfB Stuttgart.