Ron-Thorben Hoffmann is currently enjoying a season-long loan spell at Sunderland from Bayern Munich and has hinted that he would like to extend his stay at the Stadium of Light.
The German goalkeeper has taken the number one spot off of Lee Burge this season and has looked one of the most assured glovesmen in the division.
The Black Cats have utilised the loan market very well so far this season with Hoffmann, Leon Dajaku, Nathan Broadhead and Callum Doyle all playing key roles in the club’s push for automatic promotion under Lee Johnson.
Hoffmann described the atmosphere at the Stadium of Light and talked about his future desires at the club when he spoke to The Athletic.
He said: “I’ve never experienced this kind of atmosphere. I’d played against Real Madrid in front of 80,000 on Bayern’s American tour, but you can’t compare it. In America it’s an event; here it’s their life. It was louder here.
“We’re seven months away from this scenario (potentially returning to Bayern Munich). I want to get promoted with this team and stay here long-term. It’s pretty clear for me.”
Goalkeepers can have such a huge influence across the course of a season and Hoffmann’s performances in the first half of the campaign have helped the Black Cats keep pace with the likes of Wigan Athletic and Rotherham United at the top of the division.
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At 22 there is a still a lot of development time for Hoffmann, however with his contract coming to end with the German champions at the end of next season there may be interest around his signature in the summer. Hoffmann is probably more likely to find a permanent destination in the summer rather than another loan move unless he signs a new contract at the Allianz Arena.
Reading between the lines, it appears unlikely that the German will be playing in League One again next season and therefore if they are to convince him to stay beyond the conclusion of his current loan deal, the Black Cats need to realise their promotion ambitions this campaign.
There is a long way to go but with some shrewd business in the January transfer window Sunderland could go on to have a very successful second half of the season.