Highly-rated Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards is to see out the 2020-21 campaign on loan at Hoffenheim, with the United States international going in search of more regular game time.
Opportunities are expected to come the 20-year-old’s way at the Allianz Arena further down the line, with eight senior appearances already taken in.
Big things are expected of Richards at Bayern, but they are also aware of the need to get regular game time into him amid fierce competition for places.
They feel the perfect landing spot has been found, with the talented youngster linking up with a domestic rival through to the end of the season.
Hasan Salihamidzic, Bayern’s board member for sport, has told his club’s official website: “Chris is a great talent. He was a top performer in central defence for our reserves in the third division and has gained experience with the first team, even in the Champions League.
“Together we decided Chris will use the months in Hoffenheim for the next stage of his development. We’re sure TSG will get a lot from him.”
Richards added on taking on a new challenge: “I’m looking forward to taking the next steps in my development in Hoffenheim.
“It’s important I pick up more match practice in the Bundesliga now. I have big goals and I’d like to progress at FC Bayern.”
Richards has been on Bayern’s books since completing a switch from FC Dallas in 2018.
He has taken in 38 appearances for the club’s second team in the third tier of German football, four outings in the Bundesliga, three in the Champions League and one in the DFL Supercup.
Hoffenheim are now preparing to offer more precious minutes in his ongoing development, with a reunion being taken in with Sebastian Hoeness – the former coach of Bayern’s U23 side.
“Chris is a strong and very fast defender who has already started playing despite the outstanding competition in the Bayern squad,” Hoffenheim’s director of professional football, Alexander Rosen, told his team’s official website.
He added that Richards is set to be “an important and valuable option in the central defender position” with Benni Hubner, Ermin Bicakcic and Kevin Akpoguma all ruled out through injury.