NEW recruit Felix Wiedwald admits he is intent on claiming the no 1 jersey at Leeds United following his move to Elland Road.
Having also taken English lessons shortly before his switch to Yorkshire, the German also hopes language will prove no barrier to commanding the back four.
Wiedwald became United’s latest signing of the summer on Friday when joining from Werder Bremen on a three-year-deal.
The 27-year-old signed for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £500,000 and the German’s arrival leaves United with four goalkeepers in their first team squad.
Existing Whites keepers Marco Silvestri and Bailey Peacock-Farrell already had their work cut out to make the first team given that Rob Green made 47 starts last term.
Green, Silvestri and academy product Peacock-Farrell are all under contract until 2018 and Bologna were linked with a move for Silvestri earlier in the summer.
The Italian admitted before Christmas that he would consider his future if Green continued to keep him out of the team.
And now Wiedwald his eyes fixed firmly on becoming Leeds United’s no 1.
The former Germany under-20s player made 25 appearances in Germany’s top division last season to help Bremen finish eighth and the new Whites recruit admits he has not arrived at Leeds merely to sit on the bench.
Asked if the no 1 jersey was within his sights, Wiedwald admitted: “Of course. I am coming to play. I want to develop us and me and I hope we will play a good season.
I have come to play and give my best on the pitch and it’s a target to get some clean sheets. I want to play football and I am a strong player.Leeds United’s Felix Wiedwald
“I have come to play and give my best on the pitch and it’s a target to get some clean sheets. I want to play football and I am a strong player.”
Wiedwald’s career has been played out entirely in the German leagues so far with spells at MSV Duisburg and Eintracht Frankfurt followed by a move to Bremen in 2015.
The six-foot-three shotstopper says he is particularly strong in “one-on-one” situations and “good with my feet.”
The ‘keeper is also intent on being extremely vocal and even for the German, the new language will prove no issue.
“In this last past month I have done some English lessons and I am very happy to be here now,” said Wiedwald. “I think every player wants to come to England and wants to achieve great things. I am looking forward to playing at Elland Road and marching on together with the fans.”
The custodian also revealed that Leeds had been in touch with him long before sealing his switch to Elland Road.
“We have been in contact for a long time and now I am here,” he said.
“I am very happy to be here. It’s a huge club with so much history and tradition and it’s amazing to be here. Leeds United is for me a sleeping giant.
“It’s a club with so many great supporters and the stadium is most of the time full. It’s great to be here.”
Wiedwald is United’s fourth signing of the summer, arriving exactly one week after United recruited Polish international midfielder Mateusz Klich from Dutch side FC Twente.
French winger Hadi Sacko also converted his loan move from Portuguese outfit Sporting Lisbon into a permanent deal earlier this month while United signed midfielder Madger Gomes from Liverpool for the club’s under-23s earlier this week.