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Huddersfield’s signing of Florent Hadergjonaj this week has brought as much surprise as it has horror to the English football commentators everywhere!
The freshly-capped Swiss international right-back has signed for Huddersfield on loan from German side Ingolstadt and will be somewhat of a mystery to football fans in England, as well plenty of other territories for that matter. Here’s what we know about the 23-year-old so far:
Hadergjonaj was born in Langnau in Switzerland and is of Kosovan-Albanian descent. He played for his local youth side in Langnau before heading off to FC Thun to further his sporting education.
Stints in youth football at Luzern and Young Boys also followed before a full senior debut during the 2013/14 season. He has had a moderately successful time at Young Boys, having been a Super League runner-up two years in a row.
A move to Ingolstadt followed last summer for the Swiss and he played a successful 25 games for the club from a personal point of view, though the club themselves were relegated, which left him looking to seek pastures new.
Hadergjonaj is fully capable of getting forward from full-back but is by no means as free and easy as current incumbent Tommy Smith. He will be a good back-up for the skipper or better still, a more defensive alternative to him when times get tough this season.
Although he doesn’t back it up with goals and assists, he gets up and down the field very well indeed and his fitness will be a big bonus when playing in the Premier League. Shepherding balls out of play and winning vital defensive throw-ins and free-kicks should be well within his wheelhouse.
He was climbing the ranks very nicely in and around Germany and that is a very good level of football to be at. Signing for Ingolstadt was a good move in theory and within a year or two from now, that could have led to him playing for one of the bigger German teams.
His relegation last season put a spanner in the works but this move, if nothing else, puts his name out there to every agent and club owner in the world and so even if game time is at a premium for him, he’s sure to get a big move in twelve months from now.