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Russell Canouse sent on loan to VfL Bochum for two years

The 21 year old will look to earn a regular place in Bochum's first team squad, something that looked unlikely at Hoffenheim amongst an overcrowded midfield.

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Official word came on Wednesday that VfL Bochum, fifth place finishers in last year's 2.Bundesliga, had signed Hoffenheim's American central midfielder Russell Canouse on loan.  The deal is set to keep him at the club until the end of the 2017/2018 season.

The Lancaster, Pennsylvania native, who made his first team debut against Wolfsburg in March, has been a regular fixture in both Hoffenheim's and the U.S.'s youth system for some time.

Since his arrival from the NYRB academy in 2011, he has been held in high regard by the club's staff who revere both his "huge passion and great personality", naming him captain at both the U17 and U19 levels during his rise through the ranks. In his final year with the U19's, who were managed then by the club's current first team manager Julien Nagelsmann, the side went on to win the German national championship at that level with Russell playing a key role. This helped pave the way for his seamless transition up to the U23's in Germany's fourth professional division the following year where he quickly won himself a regular role.

Despite missing out on what looked to be a guaranteed starting spot and the captain's armband for Tab Ramos' U20 World Cup squad last summer due to injury Canouse picked up where he left off at the start of the 2015/16 season retaining his regular place in the U23's starting XI and even managed to grab his first goal at that level against pro side FC Saarbrucken:

His consistent success with the reserves and a call-up to the first team in March had many U.S. fans excited at the prospect of perhaps having another young American midfielder getting playing time in the German top flight next season.

That prospect, unfortunately, was already pretty thin given Hoffenheim's depth at central midfield. With the club's recent signing of 24-year-old Kevin Vogt from FC Koln, those hopes of first team minutes for Canouse next year were all but wiped out.

That makes this move to the second tier even more logical for the youngster who could very well find himself getting regular playing time at a club who many expect to be in next year's promotion race. The fact that Bochum agreed to a two year loan for Canouse from the outset means they have a great deal of faith in his ability.  It also means they have extra incentive to expedite his development this coming season.

Looking at the club's squad from last season both of the first choice holding midfielders, Frenchman Anthony Losilla and German Tim Hoogland, will be over 30 come the start of the upcoming campaign, suggesting that there could well be an opportunity for a shake up from the get go.

On the national team front, it's no secret that Jurgen Klinsmann is more than happy to reward regular, successful play in the 2.Bundesliga with a serious look at a senior team breakthrough. If all goes well for Canouse at Bochum  he could very well find himself in the conversation for a trip to Russia.