Mainz have finally found a replacement for Yunus Malli, who departed for Wolfsburg earlier this month.
The former Barcelona youngster Bojan Krkic joins on loan from English side Stoke City as a temporary fix.
Last week against Crystal Palace yielded another assist.
The feeling is that the best is yet to come.‘At Stoke, he is playing like an animal,’ says Bojan Sr. He loves Mark Hughes and his training sessions are creative. A few days earlier, we meet in a Barcelona hotel and his father glows with pride as he flicks through the family album, admiring the blue-eyed boy that modelled for fashion labels as a youngster in the heartlands of Catalonia. One day, we were one short to play seven-a-side and one of the coaches said, “Let’s put your son in”. ‘He scored three goals that day, against kids two years older.
He smiles at the recollection of the “bomb” as he puts it – a triple-layer, strawberry-and-cream sponge confection – which last month won him the vote of British Bake-Off judge Paul Hollywood ahead of team-mates Marc Muniesa and Joselu.
Stoke let him return to Barcelona where he worked daily with a physio, Jose Vilarino, at two centres in the city.
“I look forward to the team as well as to fans and to help the 05ern soon on the pitch.” Mainz coach Martin Schmidt said: “In Bojan, we are able to win a strong, dangerous and creative attacking midfielder with outstanding footballing quality, which he can play on all offensive positions.
“I am looking forward to the exciting task of providing him and his individual opportunities in the coming months for our team.” Bojan’s departure comes after Stoke signed West Brom striker Saido Berahino for an initial £12million on a five-and-a-half-year contract.
"Mainz 05 have given me the opportunity and privilege of playing in another major European league, in the Bundesliga, following my spells in La Liga, Serie A, the Eredivisie and the Premier League," said Bojan.
Having failed to win a regular place in the Barcelona lineup, Krkic has been on the move since 2011 and made his single appearance for Spain in 2008.