1. Where he was born
Thomas Eisfeld was born on January 18th, 1993 in Finsterwalde, Germany.
2. His previous clubs
SV Quitt Ankum, VfL Osnabruck and then Borussia Dortmund’s academy.
Ankum is a small town in the district of Osnabrück, in Lower Saxony, Germany. SV Quitt Ankum’s website describes Eisfeld as “perhaps the greatest talent to have ever played for SV Quitt Ankum.” They wish the player well at Arsenal.
Osnabrück is a town located in Lower Saxony. VfL Osnabrück is a multi-sport franchise that, besides football, fields basketball, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis and tennis. The football club plays in the lower leagues.
3. He has been a star at the Dortmund academy
Eisfeld has been part of the Dortmund academy for seven years. The same academy has produced the likes of Mario Götze, Kevin Großkreutz and Marcel Schmelzer. This season, he has scored six goals and has made six assists in 12 appearances for the Under-19s .
Eisfeld—back row, third from left.
4. He has captained the German Team
…the under 15s, that is.
5. Injury nearly derailed his career
He suffered a cruciate ligament injury in 2009, which was thought to be career threatening. Arsenal passed him through a battery of medical examinations to certify his fitness before signing him.
6. Arsenal have followed his progress for some time
Here’s what Arsene Wenger says about him:
Thomas is a player we have liked for some time. We’ve watched him closely this season, where he has excelled for Dortmund’s youth team.
He is young but has proven to us that he can play, that he has the attitude and technical ability to be a valuable addition to our squad. We’re very pleased to welcome him to the Club and look forward to his contribution in the coming seasons.
7. He is an attacking midfielder
…who “can play in a variety of positions,” says Arsenal.com.
The freshly minted Gunner.
8. He fits the profile of Wenger signings
Thomas Eisfeld comes on the cheap. The fee is reported to be £420,000.
For context and perspective, compare Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa, who was signed in the summer of 2010 for €350,000 from Cerezo Osaka, who then quickly established himself as Dortmund’s best player before injury interrupted his progress and Mario Götze emerged.
Kagawa has become indispensable to the Dortmund team.
Good signing is not necessary star signing.
9. He follows in the footsteps of Tomas Rosicky and Jens Lehmann
Here’s what Eisfeld says about it: “It’s a real honour to be teammates with the great players at Arsenal, and also training everyday with players like Tomas Rosicky—who I grew up watching play at Dortmund.”
Official image by Arsenal.com.
10. He comes earlier than was hoped
This is what Wenger says about it:
He has the good ingredients that could allow him to integrate into the quality of our team—the basics are technique, good movement and skill. We believe that he has a chance to develop well here.
How much first-team football he has depends on him. Basically we planned to get him at the end of the season, but we got him a bit earlier because he was at the end of his contract. We will use this period for adaptation.