Reunion with Dorsch and Uduokhai
FCA’s latest summer signing, Arne Maier on loan from Hertha BSC, already has plenty of experience despite his young age. The midfielder has always been somewhat beyond his years, and recently captained Germany U21s to the European Championship title.
Arne Maier was always slightly further ahead in terms of his progression and development compared to others in his age group. At just 16, he started training with Hertha’s first team, and he was awarded with a bronze Fritz-Walter medal aged 17. Maier went on to make his Bundesliga debut for the ‘Old Lady’ when he was 18, soon becoming a regular in the heart of their midfield.
Maier, now aged 22, already has 74 Bundesliga games under his belt. After failing to feature consistently for Hertha – partly down to injuries – he moved on loan to Arminia Bielefeld last season. He was part of their side that secured safety in their first year back in the top flight. Aside from the on-field success, he also grew as a person off it: “I had to take on some responsibility, which is exactly what I wanted,” reflected Maier. “My time there, including the relegation battle, really helped me develop personally.”
Maier continued to take on more responsibility this summer, captaining Germany U21s to the European Championship title alongside fellow FCA newbie, Niklas Dorsch. Maier has played for all of Germany’s youth sides from U15s upwards.
As well as Dorsch, Maier has also played with Felix Uduokhai – the duo were part of Germany’s Olympics squad recently in Toyko. “I spoke on the phone with Niklas and Felix, but ultimately it was still my own decision,” commented Maier, who has worn braces for several years now. “I always had back pains and nobody knew why,” he explained. “A specialist then said that my teeth weren’t quite straight and gave me braces. Since then, I’ve been free of pain and can give my all on the pitch.”
Maier also wants to give 100% in Augsburg, with excitement for his new challenge high. “We’ve got high hopes for this season,” stressed the Ludwigsfelde-born man, who is still waiting for his first Bundesliga goal.