Johnson eager for Gladbach success
U.S. right-back Fabian Johnson has said he is eager to make his mark at his new Bundesliga club, Borussia Monchengladbach, after recovering from a thigh injury.
"In my view they're the best club for me to progress as a player. No player should ever be satisfied with what he's already achieved, you have to want more, and I'm no different to anyone else," Johnson said during his presentation on Wednesday.
Johnson joined Gladbach from Hoffenheim on a free transfer earlier this year and arrived this week to begin training.
"I was looking for a new challenge and Borussia tried to get me very early on. I had good talks with the coach and the football management, and [former Hoffenheim teammate] Peniel Mlapa also only had positive things to say about the club," Johnson said. "Borussia are in the Europa League, which excites me. I want to continue my personal development and help the team be successful."
The 26-year-old took an elbow during the U.S.'s 2-2 World Cup draw against Portugal and also nursed a thigh injury, which he says has healed.
"I picked up a tight thigh muscle in our final World Cup game against Belgium but I had treatment on it right away and was able to enjoy my holiday," Johnson said. "I've come back rested and fresh and I'm looking forward to my new role. I hope I can make up the three weeks I've missed as soon as possible. I'll be doing my utmost to get back up to speed quickly."
Johnson, one of five German-Americans on the U.S. team at the World Cup this past summer, said Jurgen Klinsmann's special adviser, Berti Vogts, offered to help him at Gladbach, where he spent the entirety of his playing career.
"He obviously told me a few things about Borussia during the World Cup and he gave me his number if I need any help. I'll definitely be in touch with him," Johnson said, adding that he is still learning about the club. "I can't say much about that just yet, I need to settle in first and get to know the boys. After that I'll be able to talk about the potential in the squad and the objectives. That's still a bit difficult for me at the moment."
Johnson also said he is happy with his role on the pitch.
"I feel most comfortable at right-back and that's where I put in my best performances during the World Cup in Brazil, but obviously I'll always try to do my best if I play in a different position," he said. "At youth level I played in attack occasionally, but once I made the transition to senior football that dropped off. As a right-back your most important job is to provide stability in defence, but I'll be happy to join in up front if the boss tells me to, of course."