Liverpool’s Philipp Degen has been deemed surplus to requirements at Anfield and has sealed a season-long loan move to Stuttgart in the Bundesliga. Degen, aged 27, certainly has a lot to do to reignite his career.
Degen made a good impression during a three-year period with Borussia Dortmund. He earned national team call-ups and built a reputation for himself as a sturdy, attack-minded full-back. After a series of injuries marred his last season in the Bundesliga, he moved to Liverpool on a free transfer.
Regarding his Liverpool moved, Degen announced; “”The move is a challenge for me because Liverpool are not just any club. They play every year for the title and the Champions League so it is clear to me that it’s not easy to get through to the team. All the positions at Liverpool are occupied by two or three players already. But my playing style suits the Premier League, where the football is played moving forward.”
Degen certainly was right about every position being occupied at Liverpool. He quickly became a fringe player who never could break into the first-team. After the transfer of Glen Johnson to Liverpool from Portsmouth, Degen’s chances at first team football became even slimmer.
As Roy Hodgson assesses his squad for a new Premier League season, a meeting between the two ended in Degen being told that he would be allowed to seek first-team football elsewhere. And so, Degen returns to the Bundesliga with everything to prove.
Ottmar Hitzfeld, legendary Bundesliga manager and now head coach of the Swiss national team, has also pushed Degen aside for more astute players like Stephen Lichtsteiner and Valon Behrami, who all play the same position.
At Stuttgart, Degen will look to challenge for a spot in the first-team against the likes of Stefano Celozzi and Christian Traesch. It’s make or break for Degen and his career now, and I don’t see how his signing will benefit Stuttgart at all unless he is simply used as back-up to more competitive players.
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