Academy talent Ilia Gruev has signed his first professional contract with SV Werder Bremen. The 18-year-old midfielder signed his contract on Monday and is currently captain of Werder’s U19 side. As Green-Whites sporting director Frank Baumann explained, Gruev will gradually join the first team over the forthcoming years.
“Ilia has a lot of potential ahead of him and has developed into a strong player over the last few years. He is a player with a lot of game intelligence. He also took on a lot of responsibility when he became captain of our U19s team. We have a lot of faith in him making the jump up to the Bundesliga team sometime in the future,” said Baumann.
Gruev is delighted to continue his development at Werder. “I’m delighted that I have been given the opportunity to sign my first professional contract here at Werder. The club have supported my developed very well in recent years and I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to make my next step in professional football here. The contract is proof of the club’s faith in me and I would like to make my way towards Bundesliga football in the long-term with some good performances,” said Gruev.
Ilia Gruev joined Werder from Rot-Weiß Erfurt’s academy in 2015. The Bulgarian youth international has since played for the Green-Whites’s U15 and U17 teams before joining the U19s last summer. As captain of the side, Gruev has scored two goals in 16 appearances in the U19s Bundesliga this season. Gruev has also made three appearances for Werder’s U23s side in the Regionalliga as well as participating in the senior pre-season training camp in Zillertal and the winter training camp in Johannesburg, South Africa.