A striker who previously played for BSC Young Boys from Bern has been in Berlin for a long time: Jordan Siebatcheu has been wearing the jersey of 1. FC Union since this season. Now a second striker will appear for a Berlin club that has previously played for Bern. Wilfried Kanga is moving to Hertha BSC, as the club from the capital announced on Saturday. He gets a four-year contract.
“With his size, physical presence, speed and pull to goal, we’re getting a striker who is very well suited to the type of football we want to put on the pitch,” said sporting manager Fredi Bobic.
The 24-year-old was with Paris Saint-Germain in his youth and came to Bern via the SCO Angers (France) and Kayserispor (Turkey) stations. There, Kanga, who played for the Ivory Coast and France U20 national teams, made 31 appearances in the league last season, scoring 12 goals and providing four assists. He was his team’s second-best scorer behind Siebatcheu (22).
Now Kanga was on target again: three goals in two league games. When Bern played FK Liepaja from Latvia in the Conference League qualifier on Thursday, he was not used again.
The transfer fee for the striker, who is strong in the air, is said to be less than five million euros, well below the amount reported for Ludovic Ajorque by Racing Strasbourg. Ajorque had been linked with Hertha. But the Berliners lack the financial resources because no buyer has yet been found for Krzysztof Piatek.
So far, the storm has been a very big construction site in the Bundesliga squad. Ishak Belfodil’s contract was not extended, Piatek is to be sold, Stevan Jovetic is often injured, and Jessic Ngankam is currently absent with an injury. Stays Davie Selke. There are some indications that he will be in the starting XI in the first round match of the DFB Cup at Eintracht Braunschweig (Sunday 6:01 p.m., live on Sky).
For the new coach Sandro Schwarz it is the first competitive game, he only has the six-week preparation as a yardstick. And there will still be some changes in the squad before the end of the transfer window. But Black doesn’t choose the easy way to point it out. The 43-year-old goes on the offensive: “We won’t give out the route, we don’t know where we stand. We know what we’ve got on the racket. It is important to get that onto the pitch in the first competitive game.”
In the training camp in England there were three friendly defeats. That reads a bit out of round in the balance sheet “and we are aware that one or the other result was not so successful,” says Schwarz. But overall, the results don’t matter much. Let’s remember 2021: Hertha beat Liverpool FC in the training camp – and lost the first three Bundesliga games.
The impressions from the friendlies are more important than the results. They were very different. Black, who prefers a 4-3-3 system, wants his team to play boldly, actively and quickly forward, the opponent should always be kept busy. There were good approaches to this. But the team kept throwing in phases that were reminiscent of last season’s largely unsuccessful season in terms of passivity and a lack of structure.
The fact that the squad is not yet complete is not new. It was the same last season. But that makes it harder for Black. Everything is clear in goal, Oliver Christensen is number one. In defence, new captain Marvin Plattenhardt will play on the left and new signing Jonjoe Kenny on the right. It is unclear who will line up alongside Marc Kempf in central defense in Braunschweig. It will probably be the previous captain Dedryck Boyata.
Before that, the strong Ivan Sunjic will fill the gap left by Santiago Ascacibar’s departure for Serie A promoted US Cremonese.
Otherwise, Suat Serdar is set in midfield. Kevin-Prince Boateng could also appear there, as could Lucas Tousart or Vladimir Darida. The lack of danger on the wings was a huge problem last season. Here on the left, Chidera Ejuke, on loan from CSKA Moscow, should provide some stimulation. In what form he already does that in the cup is open. Due to visa problems, he only joined the team towards the end of the training camp.
In the last training sessions, coach Schwarz wanted to get an impression of “whether it’s enough for the starting eleven or whether it makes sense to get him off the bench.” If the latter is the case, Myziane Maolida would probably play from the start. Maolida was rarely able to impress in his first season at Hertha, but collected points from the new coach in preparation.
The same applies in particular to Dodi Lukebakio, who is back at Hertha after a fairly successful loan to VfL Wolfsburg and has so far done a lot of advertising on his own behalf. There were offers for the 24-year-old, but Lukebakio recently said in the “Bild” newspaper: “My focus is 100 percent on Hertha.” The Belgian, who committed 2019 for 20 million euros and was then often criticized, finally wants to make the breakthrough . And Black bets on him on the right.