Thomas Hitzlsperger is no stranger to the Premier League, and as Aston Villa and West Ham fans in particular will remember, he has quite the ferocious shot on him too. But is he good enough for Everton?
Nicknamed ‘The Hammer’ after boasting a thunderbolt of a left-foot, Hitzlsperger isn’t one to shy away from a long-range effort, and with over 100 Premier League appearances, he’s no newcomer to top-flight football in England either. Now available on a free transfer after being released from Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg, he’s on trial at Everton.
When leaving Aston Villa on a Bosman free transfer in 2005 after five years at the club, he left as a fan favourite. His return to the league five more years later with West Ham United could have paved wonders for the former German international, but was in fact short and sweet as he featured in just 11 games for the London club in the 2010/11 season.
Now he’s back - almost. This week Tommy Hitzlsperger began a two-week trial at Everton, as the Merseysiders will decide whether he would be a sustainable signing for the club. Whilst lacking match fitness, his age and experience could be useful for Everton, and with midfielder Darren Gibson injured he could aid the team’s push for a top six finish this season.
The only thing is, with such low fitness levels, Hitzlsperger would be prone to injury, and Everton may not want to take the risk on him for this reason. Whilst a full-time contract may not be the correct decision, a pay-as-you-play contract could be the perfect solution. Phil Neville is currently playing in more of a makeshift midfield role as Everton look to make up the numbers, and Hitzlsperger could provide cover in midfield whilst Gibson recovers from a thigh strain.
After being released from Wolfsburg this summer, Hitzlsperger is available on a free transfer. As well as amassing over 250 appearances in the Premier League, Bundesliga and Serie A, the former German international has also played over 50 games for his country, scoring six goals.
If nothing else, Hitzlsperger could be a useful super-sub and a strong option to have in dead-ball situations, if he can stay injury-free and fit. On a free transfer and potential for a pay-as-you-play contract, the Everton trialist could well be worth a punt indeed.
Would Thomas Hitzlsperger be a useful addition for Everton?
image: © stefanbaudy