Why Sheffield Wednesday should thank a Norwich City player after the signing of Julian Börner
Sheffield Wednesday’s signing of German centre-half Julian Börner may never have happened without the encouragement of Norwich City midfielder Marco Stiepermann.
The pair are best friends having roomed together while going through the age groups with the German national team and at Energie Cottbus, where they shared two seasons.
Speaking ahead of the completion of his Hillsborough move, Börner revealed that Stiepermann convinced him to agree to the move when Wednesday came knocking.
“Because of Marco, I watched the Norwich games every week. I speak to him three times a week – we’ve been friends for 15 years.
“I was a little bit anxious about a different language, country and culture, but he told me I must give it a go. He said English football was unbelievable and that it was better over here in the UK than in Germany.”
Stiepermann, who scored one of his 10 goals for Norwich in a 2-2 draw with Wednesday in April, signed for the Premier League new boys in 2017.
And Börner, now 28, could have moved at the same time.
Sign up to our Sheffield Wednesday newsletter
“Two years ago [Norwich manager] Daniel Farke called trying to sign me,” he said, “I didn’t sign because my child had just been born over in Bielefeld and he called me the day after she was born.
“It would have been a big step for me at that time, it would have been too difficult, so I stayed in Germany.”
The Hillsborough faithful will hope that Norwich’s loss is Wednesday’s gain.