Norwich City new boy Christoph Zimmermann pledges “defending is my passion” after signing on a free from Borussia Dortmund II
PUBLISHED: 17:57 15 June 2017 | UPDATED: 18:50 15 June 2017
Christoph Zimmermann is relishing getting stuck into the thick of Championship battle for Norwich City, simply stating: “Defending is my passion.”
The tall centre-back has signed on a free transfer from Borussia Dortmund II, following head coach Daniel Farke to Norfolk, having captained the German’s team last season – when they had the best defensive record in their league.
Zimmermann, 24 and 6ft 4ins tall, feels his style will suit English football.
“Of course with my physical constitution I like the in-fights, I like winning headers,” the new Canaries defender said. “And, first of all, as a defender I like to defend and I like it if we don’t concede any goals – that’s always the biggest aim for a defender.
“Defending is my passion: sliding tackles on wet grass, headers, all of that sort of stuff which we would call man’s football – that’s what I like.”
Dortmund conceded just 25 goals in 34 games in Regionalliga West, in the fourth tier of German football, and Zimmermann is pleased to be joining Farke and his assistant Eddie Riemer in England.
“I’m extremely delighted and very honoured for the opportunity,” he continued. “First of all, the connection is obvious because I worked together with the head coach Daniel Farke in Dortmund, and I had extremely good experiences with him.
“And Norwich City has some history in the Premier League and is a well-known club, and also the city seems really interesting and looks good.
“All of that together made it definitely the best option for me to take this summer after my contract with Dortmund ran out. That left me free to do whatever I wanted to do, and that was a good position for me, and so I chose Norwich.”
He becomes the fourth signing since Farke was unveiled at Carrow Road in late May, allowing sporting director Stuart Webber to start finalising the transfer plans he had been putting in place.
Barnsley forward Marley Watkins also arrived a on a free and was followed by the signing of Manchester City goalkeeper Angus Gunn joining on a season-long loan.
Bosnia & Herzegovina midfielder Mario Vrancic was then the first player to be brought across from Germany, signed from relegated Bundesliga side Darmstadt for around £650,000.
Michael Bailey: Norwich City’s new man Christoph Zimmermann is only the start
Asked about what City fans can expect from Farke, Zimmermann explained: “I don’t want to be too positive about him, because that would sound weird! He’s extremely smart: during half-times, whenever there was something going wrong or if there was a problem with the opponents, he knew exactly what to do to make your own game better and to get a good result.
“He’s got this gift of being really objective about the matches even though there are a lot of emotions around games. He can really figure out and analyse in a really objective and calm way what was good and what wasn’t, and this makes the team better, creates success and makes each player better.
“I’m just 24, but I’ve worked with several good coaches at Borussia Borussia Monchengladbach and also at Dortmund but he’s definitely the best one I’ve had.”
He even thinks his game may suit English football more than the German style.
“When I was a kid, around the age of 10 or 12, there was a German TV channel that on Monday nights at 11.30pm showed Premier League highlights,” he said, speaking to City’s official website. “As a kid at that time normally you go to bed, but my brother and I stayed up to watch the Premier League because we were always interested in English football.
“In Germany, English footballers have a really good reputation for the kind of player I am, as a physical player.
“I think that British football is more attractive for me in a way than German football, and from a young age it was a dream and a goal to play here.”