Borussia Mönchengladbach currently sit third in the Bundesliga and look like they'll spend the second half of the season in a battle for the third and fourth Champions League spots awarded to the league. They'll be looking to beef up their roster before competing in Europe next season, and they reportedly have their eyes set on USMNT fullback/midfielder Fabian Johnson.
The report comes from German tabloid Bild, and while their reporting isn't always 100% reliable, they shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. The only person on record speaking about the move is Hoffenheim's Sporting Director Alexander Rosen. He told Bild, "Yes, it's true. Various Bundesliga clubs are interested in him." Johnson's contract with Hoffenheim is up at the end of the season.
The move makes sense for both Gladbach and Johnson.
Gladbach would be getting Johnson on a free transfer, and he can play on the left and right side in defense and in midfield. This would be extremely beneficial on the left side. Johnson would immediately step in challenging Oliver Wendt for the starting left back position, and current backup Filip Daems is 35 years old and out of contract at the end of the season. In the midfield, star left winger Juan Arango has an expiring contract and will turn 34 at the end of the season. While he has expressed a desire to sign an extension with Gladbach, he only wants to do it one year at a time. His flexibility would allow Lucien Favre to move players around the field allowing some much needed rest in a congested schedule.
For Johnson, this move is almost in the "no-brainer" territory. In all likelihood, he's probably not returning to Hoffenheim. I'd even go so far to say that it would be a mistake for him to return to Hoffenheim next season. Gladbach will probably be involved in European competition next season, and it's beginning to look like they'll find themselves in next season's Champions League. Starting minutes won't be guaranteed under Favre, but the opportunity to earn said minutes will be there. Plus, Gladbach play some of the most attractive soccer in the Bundesliga at the present time.
The opportunity to compete in the Champions League, or the Europa League for that matter, will be too big of a draw for Fabian Johnson this summer. If a move to Borussia Mönchengladbach is on the table, I don't see any reason that Johnson wouldn't take it.
- Transfer Rumors: Bradley to Fulham, Johannsson to Celtic
- Clint Dempsey headed to Fulham on loan, according to reports
- Jurgen Klinsmann gets four-year contract extension to lead the USA through 2018
- Nearly 9000 Miles: Looking At the World Cup Group G Travel Schedule
- The USA's World Cup group isn't as bad as it looks