From a castaway to one of the most in-form midfielders in the Bundesliga, Union Berlin have acquired yet another gem with their signing of Janik Haberer on a free transfer this summer.
|Janik Haberer.||Photo: 1. FC Union Berlin|
Haberer recently broke out into the spotlight with a brace in Union’s 2-0 dominating win over Dortmund on Matchday 10. It’s easy to forget that the 28-year-old had been struggling to secure a spot in SC Freiburg’s starting eleven for the past couple of seasons.
He was a solid contributor at the Breisgau club for several years after making the move from Hoffenheim in 2016. But in the summer of 2020, Haberer suffered a fibula fracture and many wondered if he would ever regain his place in Freiburg’s squad.
He never did. Baptiste Santamaria took over midfield duties in 2020/21 and then Freiburg brought in Maximilian Eggestein to join youngster Yannik Keitel last season, leaving Haberer with an unfulfilling substitute role.
It was clear that Haberer’s time at the club in the Black Forest was up and Union swooped in to grab yet another neglected player on a free this summer. Haberer immediately earned a starting role under the mastermind that is Urs Fischer, wowing supporters who may have forgotten the club even signed him.
The 6’1” midfield roamer can track back with Union’s well-organized defense and is unafraid to burst through the middle of the park to create chances on goal. He’s played a lot in left-center midfield thus far and has a non-stop motor that’s perfect in aiding the front two with their pressing duties.
Haberer fits Fischer’s 3-5-2 scheme and is such a good addition to the dependable, unflashy midfield players that Union already have at their fingertips (i.e. Haraguchi, Schäfer, Khedira…). You won’t see him at the top of any statistical leaderboards, which is exactly what the best club in the capital are all about.
It’s another deft piece of business from Union, who have mastered the ability of securing the right players for Fischer’s system, while keeping the club in the green.