John Brooks has become the most expensive US footballer in history after making the move from Hertha Berlin to Wolfsburg for a reported €20m ($22.5m). The previous record belonged to Jozy Altidore, who moved from AZ Alkmaar to Sunderland for €10m in 2013.
The defender was born in Berlin to an American father and German mother, and has played for Hertha for his entire career but reportedly requested a transfer. “It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my hometown, but after the talks with [sporting director] Olaf Rebbe and [coach] Andries Jonker I wanted to join Wolfsburg because both soon convinced me of their plans for VfL,” Brooks told Wolfsburg’s official website. “I want to contribute my share so that Wolfsburg can live up to their earlier success.”
Hertha finished sixth in the Bundesliga this season and qualified for the Europa League, while Wolfsburg ended up just one place above the relegation zone, and had to win a playoff to avoid dropping down a division. However, Wolfsburg are wealthier than Hertha and reached the Champions League quarter-finals in the 2015-16 season, where they lost narrowly to eventual champions Real Madrid. Brooks also received criticism in the Berlin press for his performances over the past season.
Brooks is already a veteran for the US national team at the age of 24. He has 30 caps and played at the 2014 World Cup, scoring the winner against Ghana in the US’s opening game.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Wednesday 31st May 2017 20.45 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010