Women's team to face Weinberg in friendly on Saturday
Having returned to training on Monday, head coach Jürgen Ehrmann's charges face their first friendly at the weekend. The TSG Hoffenheim women's team will take on second-tier opponents SV Weinberg on Saturday (kick-off 13:00 CET) at the St. Leon training complex. "The strengths of our first opponents definitely lie in their combative nature," said Fabienne Dongus, adding: "In footballing terms we'll be superior to Weinberg, so we'll be able to play the game mainly on the front foot." The following day, on Sunday at 11:00 CET, the Bundesliga team and the U20s will square off in an internal match.
Four more TSG players in "kicker" ranking list
As a reward for their strong displays in the first half of the Bundesliga season, Reiss Nelson, Joelinton, Ishak Belfodil and Adam Szalai have all been named among the best players in their position in the "kicker" ranking list.
Nelson (attacking winger) and Joelinton (striker) both made the "players of note" category in the "German Football Ranking List". Of the 19-year-old, who came in fifth place in his position, the editors wrote: "It's difficult to come up with a tactical plan against him. Difficult to predict for any opposition, always on the go, very instinctive. Nelson, who only celebrated his 19th birthday shortly before the winter break, made an immediate impact in Hoffenheim with six goals in seven matches. He couldn't quite maintain his spectacular start but he remains a man who can produce special moments."
His team-mate Joelinton made ninth place on the centre-forward list, while fellow frontmen Ishak Belfodil and Adam Szalai also made the ranking list. Both were included as "players in focus".
Oliver Baumann, Ermin Bicakcic, Nico Schulz, Pavel Kaderabek, Florian Grillitsch, Kerem Demirbay and Andrej Kramaric had all previously been listed by "kicker" among the best players in their position.
Zuber to join VfB Stuttgart on loan
Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim will loan Steven Zuber to domestic rivals VfB Stuttgart until the end of the current campaign. An option to make the transfer permanent has not been agreed. The 27-year-old midfielder still has a contract with TSG Hoffenheim until 30 June 2020.
Zuber is the fifth player − after Felipe Pires (Palmeiras), Kevin Akpoguma (Hannover 96), Gregor Kobel (FC Augsburg) and Vincenzo Grifo (SC Freiburg) − to leave TSG Hoffenheim in the January transfer window, as the club have scaled back the size of their squad ahead of the Bundesliga restart at home to Bayern Munich next Friday (18 January at 20:30 CET, live on ZDF and Eurosport).
"Steven clearly sees himself in a certain position which is currently subject to lots of competition within our squad and he was no longer satisfied with the playing time he was getting in the first half of the season," explained TSG sporting director Alexander Rosen. "Also, with a view to his international career, he is keen to be playing a key role on the pitch every week. We had respectful and trusting discussions with Steven and can understand his viewpoint. A loan therefore represents a good solution for both parties, especially as the conditions are right," said Rosen.
Steven Zuber joined TSG Hoffenheim from top Russian team CSKA Moscow in August 2014 and has since made 99 appearances for the Kraichgau club, scoring eight goals. This season, however, he only played the full 90 minutes in two of his nine Bundesliga appearances, while he started on the bench seven times and on one occasion didn't even make the squad. In the Champions League too, Zuber only played 101 minutes across three of the six group games this term.
Klauss to be loaned to LASK
Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim have extended the contract of João Klauss de Mello by a further year to 30 June 2022. Simultaneously, the decision has been taken to loan the Brazilian centre-forward to Austrian Bundesliga outfit LASK Linz until 30 June 2020.
Klauss has recently made a name for himself in the Finnish Veikkausliiga, helping HJK Helsinki to a 29th title in the season just gone. He scored 21 goals in 33 matches to finish as the top scorer in the league and was crowned the best player in the division. Klauss was on loan with the Finnish record champions.