The transfer fee agreed is the largest that TSG Hoffenheim have ever received for a player. "A club of our size can hardly allow an offer like this one to pass us by. It is important to weigh up sporting desire on the one hand and financial prudence on the other, and while doing so to fulfil our responsibility vis-á-vis the club and its employees," said Alexander Rosen. "Furthermore, it is also important to respect the player's preferences and to include his stance in the overall considerations. Joe has clearly signalled to us that this is the path he needs to take."
The director of football believes that the record transfer is a vindication of TSG Hoffenheim's approach. "For the first time, and certainly not the last, we are facing this kind of decision, and we consistently have to make them with a view to the future viability of our club and with an acceptance of the fact that we will sign and develop new promising talents or players who we believe to have bright prospects. Joelinton is the most recent proof for this tried-and-tested strategy, for which there is no alternative; Roberto Firmino, Kevin Volland, Niklas Süle and most recently Kerem Demirbay and Nico Schulz are other names that have been added to this increasingly growing list."
"I know what I owe TSG"
"I know what I owe to TSG Hoffenheim. The administrative management have always placed a lot of trust in me in what has been an almost perfect environment. That is what has opened up this new opportunity, which I absolutely want to take despite feeling a degree of sadness," said Joelinton.
Joelinton Cassio Apolinário de Lira joined TSG Hoffenheim from the Brazilian club Sport Recife in 2015. He spent his first year in the Kraichgau, before joining Austrian Bundesliga club Rapid Vienna on a two-season loan. During his stint with the Green & Whites, the forward progressed enough in both footballing and physical terms to be recognised as an option for the senior squad in Sinsheim. From his very first competitive appearance, he demonstrated the kind of raw power that ultimately saw him become a first-team regular. He went on to make a total of 29 Bundesliga appearances, notching seven goals and seven assists. He scored three times in the DFB Cup and scored one goal in his five Champions League appearances for TSG.