Genki Haraguchi signs for VfB Stuttgart
Farewell to Berlin:
After 18 successful months in Köpenick, Genki Haraguchi's time with 1. FC Union Berlin is now coming to an end. The 31-year-old midfielder has signed a contract with league rivals VfB Stuttgart.
Twice a Berliner
After four years at Hertha BSC where he made over a hundred appearances, the Japanese player first moved to Fortuna Düsseldorf for the second half of the 2017/18 season, and then on to Hannover 96. Although Haraguchi was relegated in his first season with Hannover, he matured into a leading player in the second division and was the lynchpin of Hannover's attack between 2019 and 2021. In both second division seasons, Genki missed only two games and scored a total of 27 points.
Union secured the services of someone who was one of the best second division players at the time for the start of the 2021/22 season. It hardly took long for Haraguchi to acclimatise to life back in the capital, taking to the pitch 42 times in his first season, setting up six goals and scoring twice himself. The 31-year-old made an important contribution to qualifying for the UEFA Europa League for the first time. So far this season, Haraguchi has made 17 appearances for Union.
Voices on the move
"I'm leaving with a lot of great memories associated with this club over the past year and a half. I will always look back with a smile on my time with the Union family, but I am now also looking forward to the new task in Stuttgart," said Haraguchi about his transfer.
Managing director of professional football Oliver Ruhnert, meanwhile said this of the move. "Genki is a mentality player who works tirelessly on himself and for the team. We are grateful for his commitment to us and find it difficult to let him go now. After the agreement with Stuttgart, we have complied with his wish to terminate the contract, which would end in the summer, and we wish Genki all the best!"