In an interview with journalist Frank Lüddecke of German footballing magazine Kicker, former German youth international Johannes Eggestein admitted he would have liked the chance top continue playing for SV Werder Bremen.
The 23-year-old nevertheless remained enthusiastic about continuing the "adventure" of his career elsewhere.
|Johannes Eggestein.||Photo: Werder Bremen|
Just like older brother Maximilian, Johannes Eggestein considered SV Werder Bremen to be his home. After coming up through the club's youth academy for five years, "Jojo" finally claimed his spot on the first team under Florian Kohfeldt during the 2018/19 campaign. After serving as less of a factor in the 2019/20 relegation escape season, the club opted to loan him out to Austria for the year last October.
At the time, there was some talk that Johannes himself pushed the move in order to obtain more playing time. The younger Eggestein didn't necessarily deny this in an interview with Kicker magazine journalist Frank Lüddecke, but did surprise by saying that he wanted to return to the Green-White Hanseaten despite their relegation this year.
"I was still under contract there," the 23-year-old Hanover native said, "[returning there] was my initial goal because Bremen is like a second home to me. I allowed myself to be loaned out to Austria with the aim of acquiring practice and taking another stab at it at Werder. But it was relatively quickly conveyed to me that this was not in our mutual interest."
"I thought it a shame that [new Bremen coach] Markus Anfang didn't at least give me the chance to convince him," Eggestein continued, "he was sure that, as an achoring/attacking midfielder, I didn't fit into his system. To be fair, he was at least honest with me and told me early on. I'm not resentful, because he gave me the time necessary to find a new club."
After a very successful season out on loan at LASK Linz (20 goals in 39 appearances across all competitions) Eggestein moved from the Austrian Bundesliga to the Belgium Jupiler Pro League. Johannes claimed that he had turned down offers from top-tier Bundesliga clubs because he wished to be a "fixed squad player" with a "fixed position."
"I see my footballing career as an adventure where I can gain lots of experience," Johannes noted when asked why he opted to join a team, in Royal Antwerp F.C., that only recently made it back up to the Belgian top flight, "Not just athletically either, but as a person. Having been in Austria and now in Antwerp gives me so much as a person and contributes to my personality. I'm also looking for challenges outside of football."
Johannes wears the no. 9 tricot at his new club. He's been subbed in six times in the league thus far, but hasn't yet made the starting XI. Whether or not the younger Eggestein brother can fulfill his goal of becoming a "fixed squad player" with a "fixed squad position" remains to be seen.
He did get his first non-league start under Danish coach Brian Priske against Eintracht Frankfurt in the second 2021/22 Europa League group stage match on Thursday night.