Jannik Vestergaard's move from SV Werder Bremen to Borussia has been completed. The 23-year-old central defender underwent his medical and signed a five-year contract (until June 2021) in Mönchengladbach on Friday.
At his former clubs, 1899 Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen, Vestergaard has made a total of 129 Bundesliga and 15 DFB Cup appearances to date. He has also received eight international caps for Denmark. "Despite his young age, Jannik will play an important role in our defence due to his experience and physical presence," said sporting director Max Eberl. "We're delighted that he has decided to join Borussia and that we've managed to sign him."
Cousin Mika plays in the U14s
Jannik Vestergaard already has a direct family link to VfL because his cousin Mika Schröers currently plays for Borussia's U14s. His family generally boasts great footballing prowess. Mika's father, so Jannik's uncle, Jan Schröers, played in Germany's youth set-up and was crowned U19 champion with Bayer Uerdingen in 1987. His grandfather Hannes also played for Bayer in the 1960s as well as representing both Fortuna Düsseldorf and West Ham United.
Born in the Hvidovre municipality in Copenhagen, Jannik grew up in the centre of the Danish capital and started out playing football at Vestia BK before quickly moving on to the better-known club BK Frem. Shortly afterwards, he moved to Københavns Boldklub. However, it didn't go smoothly for him at the oldest club outside of Great Britain. In his first year for the U17s, Vestergaard had a major growth spurt and struggled to cope with the situation. During this period, he was often used as a substitute and he therefore decided to link up with traditional Danish club Brøndby IF in his second year at U17 level.
From Hoffenheim to Bremen
He stayed at the club for two and a half years and developed into a youth international for Denmark. Shortly after being awarded the "Arlas talentpris" for best Danish U19 player, Vestergaard moved abroad for the first time in summer 2010 and joined 1899 Hoffenheim. He initially started out playing for the U23s in Kraichgau but the towering defender went on to greater challenges in a short space of time. His strong aerial ability and good build-up play paved the way for him to progress to the first-team squad. The central defender celebrated his Bundesliga debut in the 1-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on 16th April 2011. That was the first of his 82 Bundesliga games (6 goals) for Hoffenheim. Vestergaard moved to SV Werder Bremen in the 2014/15 winter break, where he immediately developed into a top performer. He made a total of 38 top-flight appearances for Bremen and scored three goals.
Eight caps for Denmark
Vestergaard regularly featured for Denmark's U18s and played 28 times for the U21s. He was handed his debut for the senior team in a friendly against Poland (1-2) on 14th August 2013 and has eight caps to date. His first competitive game for Denmark came in the European Championship play-off return leg against Sweden on 17th November 2015. He was substituted on in the 84th minute and scored his only international goal to date in added time.