Stuttgart sign young trio
Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart have announced the triple capture of Marco Rojas, Konstantin Rausch and Daniel Schwaab.
Stuttgart have failed to build on last season's sixth-placed finish and lie 12th in the table with just two matches to play.
But they have already moved to bolster their squad ahead of next season, with the signings of Rojas, Rausch and Schwaab adding to the options available to coach Bruno Labbadia.
While Rausch and Schwaab – who are free transfer signings from Hannover and Bayer Leverkusen respectively – are known quantities, it is the potential of Rojas that will excite Stuttgart fans.
The 21-year-old winger from New Zealand is fresh off a dominant A-League season, in which he scored 15 goals in 27 appearances for the Melbourne Victory.
Rojas was awarded the Johnny Warren Medal, given to the A-League's best player in the season, for his efforts.
Although Rojas' contract with Victory was winding down, Stuttgart paid the club approximately 115,000 pounds to secure his services.
"Marco has just been voted player of the year in Australia but that's not the only reason we noticed him,'' Stuttgart's head of sport, Fredi Bobic, told the club's official website.
"He is a player who is well used to the attacking wide positions and provides speed. It will be interesting to see how quickly he can get used to the pace in Germany.''
The move is a huge step in the development of Rojas, who had Liverpool and Juventus scouts watching him during the A-League season.
But Rojas has moved to Stuttgart in a bid to play regular first-team football in Europe.
"It's important to continue to push myself, to become a better player and it's important to be playing games. That's probably the most important thing," Rojas said.
"No matter how hard you train and how much you do during and after training, it's always important to be playing the games and being in the match situations, that helps more than anything."
Rausch, who has made three Under-21 appearances for Germany, will add solidity to the club's defence.
The 23-year-old left-back has played in 26 or more Bundesliga matches for the last four seasons.
Schwaab is another young addition, with the 24-year-old defender having been involved on a semi-regular basis at Leverkusen since signing from Freiburg in 2009.