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FC St. Pauli have responded to the serious injury to defender Philipp Ziereis by signing centre-back Justin Hoogma on loan from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim until the end of the season.

“After the injury to Philipp Ziereis it was clear that we had to strengthen in the centre-back position,” said director of sport Uwe Stöver. “As we can expect further injuries and suspensions, and due to the fact that Marc Hornschuh still needs time after his lengthy layoff, we could have faced problems in that position, so that’s why we decided to take Justin on loan.”

Head coach Markus Kauczinski is looking forward to the Holland Under-21 international: “Justin is a very talented central defender who as well as being good in the air and composed in possession, is an excellent passer of the ball. He helps us to plug the gap that has arisen."

Justin Hoogma is also optimistic about his time at the club: I’m looking forward to St. Pauli and their fantastic fans. I hope to play a lot of games for the club and will give my all."

The 20-year-old Dutchman, who played in every minute of all 34 league games in the 2016/17 season for Heracles Almelo in the top Dutch division, moved to Hoffenheim in the summer of 2017. This season, Hoogma has made four senior appearances for Hoffenheim (2 x Bundesliga, 1 x Champions League, 1 x DFB Cup). The son of former HSV defender Nico-Jan Hoogma has played 16 times for his country at youth level to date.

Photos: Witters