Brentford signs German winger Schade from Freiburg

January 4, 2023 GMT
FILE - Freiburg's Kevin Schade, right, challenges Bayern's Matthijs de Ligt for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, Oct. 16, 2022. Brentford has signed German winger Kevin Schade as the West London club seeks to build for the future after establishing itself in the English Premier League. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)
FILE - Freiburg's Kevin Schade, right, challenges Bayern's Matthijs de Ligt for the ball during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Bayern Munich and SC Freiburg at the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, Oct. 16, 2022. Brentford has signed German winger Kevin Schade as the West London club seeks to build for the future after establishing itself in the English Premier League. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

LONDON (AP) — Brentford has signed German winger Kevin Schade, initially on loan but with a club-record fee to make the deal permanent, as the West London club seeks to build for the future after establishing itself in the English Premier League.

Schade is a versatile 21-year-old known for his speed who can also play as a center-forward. He’s shown significant potential in 29 career Bundesliga games, typically off the bench. He played only 12 games for Freiburg in the Bundesliga and Europa League this season after an abdominal muscle injury kept him on the sidelines from March through September.

“We expect to make the deal permanent for a club-record undisclosed fee in the summer, with Schade set to sign a five-year contract,” Brentford said.

German media reported the future fee had been set at around 25 million euros ($26.5 million), which would be both a record signing for Brentford and a record sale for German Cup finalist Freiburg.

“He is willing to work very hard for his team. We see him as a player that could have a big potential to be a fine goal scorer and it is great to have him at Brentford. Our coaching staff are looking forward to working with him,” Brentford manager Thomas Frank said.

Schade was born in Germany to a German mother and a Nigerian father and is eligible to represent either nation in international competitions. He has scored four goals in five games for Germany at under-21 level and has said he prefers to play for Germany.

Schade joins a Brentford team which has entrenched itself in the Premier League mid-table in its second season with notable wins over the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.

“I believe I have the chance to take the next steps in my career in England and I definitely want to take that chance,” Schade said in a statement on Freiburg’s website.

Schade could add depth to the Brentford squad amid continuing uncertainty over top scorer Ivan Toney, who has been charged by the English Football Association with more than 260 breaches of the rules on gambling.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports