It’s not often in football that so much time will pass between the signing of a contract and the first day at work. Sometimes within a few weeks, other times within a few days, transfers are completed and a player is ready to join up with his new teammates. That wasn’t the case with Thomas Delaney. The Denmark international had signed a contract with the Green-Whites back in the summer, and now, 138 days later, he has finally arrived.
WERDER.DE accompanied the 25-year-old on his first day, where he completed his performance tests and received at tour of the Weser-Stadion. In his first official interview, our new number six discusses his departure from Copenhagen, discussions with international teammates who have worn the Green-White colours, and about a strange farewell gift.
WERDER.DE: Thomas, it’s great to finally welcome you to Bremen. It’s been almost half a year since you agreed to join – are you happy to finally be here?
Thomas Delaney: "Yes, I am. But it was good to take this time to learn German and to find a flat without rush. The waiting has paid off."
WERDER.de: There have been a few Danish players at Werder in the past, like Ole Björnmose, Leon Andreasen, Daniel Jensen, or most recently Jannik Vestergaard. Have you sought advice from anyone?
Thomas Delaney: "I’ve chatted to Jannik and Daniel. They have both had very positive things to say about Werder."
WERDER.DE: What did they tell you?
Thomas Delaney: "I already knew a lot about Werder. It’s a big club with a strong heritage. Discussions with Jannik were more about the team, about the city and life in Bremen. Werder is the only big club in Bremen, there are no rivals. Everything revolves around Werder. I met two people on the staircases of my new flat – both have season tickets at the Weser-Stadion. I’m really excited to play for a club, with the whole city behind it."
WERDER.DE: You’ve been mentioned a lot in the media in recent months in discussions surrounding Werder, which has built up a lot of expectation. Was your departure from Copenhagen a big topic in the media?
Thomas Delaney: "The last few months were quite strange. I had a few chats about what it would be like to leave the club, or how it would be if Copenhagen qualified for the Champions League and I left for Werder. But my mind was made up."
There probably isn't a better club I could have gone toThomas Delaney
WERDER.DE: You spent your whole career to date at Copenhagen. What does club loyalty mean to you?
Thomas Delaney: "I don’t know anything other than loyalty to a club. I played for Kjøbenhavns Boldklub as a youth, the academy side for FC Copenhagen. All together I was there 22 years. I probably liked having a familiar environment in which I know the people and what to expect. I hope to have the same thing here.
WERDER.DE: They played a clip for your final game. That would have definitely not have been an easy moment for you…
Thomas Delaney: "Definitely now. It tore me apart. It’s difficult to describe those feelings, but the scenes in the stadium really took my breath away."
WERDER.DE: And you received a pen as a leaving gift…
Thomas Delaney (laughing): That’s right. It’s actually really special. People expect a watch or something, but they gave me a pen.
WERDER.DE: Back to the present. Have you had a chance to get to know your new teammates much?
Thomas Delaney: "No, not really. Whenever I visited before nobody has been here. Before I started watching Werder, I knew about Clemens Fritz, Claudio Pizarro and Max Kruse. They are three big names, the most well-known Werder players in Denmark. But I’ve been watching to understand what style the players play in and how I can fit in.
WERDER.DE: In Copenhagen you were captain, one of the leading players. Do you have clear expectations of the team and an idea of what you want to bring to the team?
Thomas Delaney: "No, I think I it’s important to be humble at the start. Obviously I want to play and have high expectations of myself. But I have to learn about how to play in the Bundesliga first. I come from a “big club in a small league,” as I would call them. We played in the Champions League, but for me it will be like playing in the Champions League every week here. I need to develop a feel for the league. Despite that, I’m obviously hopeful that I can bring my qualities into the team as quickly as possible."