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On his very first day at work Sami Allagui fielded a host of questions from the media, who understandably were especially interested to learn more about the new faces in the St. Pauli squad. The 27-time Tunisia international spoke about his initial impressions, his experiences at the Millerntor and his relationship with strike partner Aziz Bouhaddouz.

With his legs crossed, hands clasped and gaze fixed attentively on the journalists, Sami Allagui took his seat in the media room at the Kollaustrasse training complex bang on noon. A quick timeout at the midway point of his first day of training in the brown-and-white colours. The 31-year-old had, after all, already been put through his paces during the blood lactate test earlier in the morning. "Everything went well," he revealed. "And now we're looking forward to this afternoon's session."

The Düsseldorf-born Tunisian knows only too well that "coming through pre-season injury-free is the name of the game". Allagui has already racked up 214 appearances in the top two divisions during spells at Fürth, Mainz and Hertha BSC, scoring 62 goals and providing 33 assists, but missed most of the 2015-16 season due to a torn cruciate ligament and cartilage damage, his first major injuries.

Allagui signed off with a goal in his final outing for Hertha and is now ready for the new challenge in Hamburg. The attacking utility player enjoyed playing at the Millerntor before the move came about and is looking forward to the home games accordingly. "It's no secret that St. Pauli are a very special club," he said. "I've always liked running out here and have scored quite a few as well."

The former Hertha man has scored four times against the Boys in Brown, to be precise, and is now hoping to improve on that return for his new club. Besides Bernd Nehrig, whom he knows from his time at Fürth, Allagui also maintains a good relationship with strike partner Aziz Bouhaddouz. "Moroccans and Tunisians get on very well," he said with a laugh. "We lived in the same region while I was at Mainz. I'm looking forward to him." Now if that's not a good foundation for a harmonious attack.


Photo: Witters