Dortmund attacker explains West Ham, Everton snub and reveals sporting director call that changed everything

Youssoufa Moukoko and Niclas Fullkrug, Dortmund

Youssoufa Moukoko and Niclas Fullkrug on Dortmund bench

Germany striker Niclas Fullkrug has confirmed he could have moved to the Premier League in the summer amid interest from West Ham and Everton, only to reject such advances and instead join Borussia Dortmund.

Fullkrug is something of a late bloomer. He has now reached what seems to be the pinnacle of his career, but it has taken the 30-year-old a long time to get there.

In the 2021-22 season, Fullkrug registered 19 goals and eight assists in 33 appearances for Werder Bremen, helping them gain promotion back to the top flight of German football.

Fullkrug continued to score goals the following campaign and this saw him earn a call-up to the German national team for the Qatar World Cup. The centre-forward was a rare source of positivity as the 2014 world champions crashed out in the group stage.

After finishing last season with 16 goals in 28 league games, Fullkrug was heavily tipped to leave Werder for bigger things. Indeed, both West Ham and Everton were backed to bring him to England for the first time in his career.

In April, German outlet Bild revealed that while Fullkrug was open to a Prem switch, he felt he could play at a higher level than West Ham and Everton.

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In the end, Fullkrug opted to join Bundesliga giants Dortmund in a move worth €15million (£13m).

During an interview with Bild (via Fussball News and BVB Buzz), the nine-cap international has effectively confirmed that West Ham opened talks over his possible capture. But once Fullkrug learned that Dortmund were in the race for him, he had to contact their sporting director Sebastian Kehl and let him know he would be moving to the Westfalenstadion.

“For me, it was clear. If I make a move, it has to be one where I feel a tingle in my stomach,” Fullkrug said. “I could have gone to England, for example, to a club that plays on the international stage. But I didn’t feel that tingle to leave Werder Bremen for it.

Niclas Fullkrug ‘immediately felt a tingle’ when Dortmund called

“I had to be very patient. It was only in the last week of the transfer window that BVB made an offer for me. I immediately felt a tingle with BVB. And I told him [Kehl] that I am convinced BVB needs me – and I also need BVB.”

Fullkrug started his Dortmund career slowly, failing to register a goal in his first four appearances. However, it seems the attacker has now gotten used to BVB and their style of play, as he has scored in their last two league matches, both of which have ended in victory.

West Ham quickly moved on from the disappointment surrounding Fullkrug and raided Ajax for versatile forward Mohammed Kudus instead. And he recently smashed in his first Prem goal, helping West Ham pick up a 2-2 draw against Newcastle.

Everton, meanwhile, strengthened their attack with the arrivals of Beto, Youssef Chermiti and Arnaut Danjuma in the most recent transfer window.

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