Ilay Elmkies promoted to first-team squad

With the second half of the Bundesliga season rapidly approaching, TSG Hoffenheim have made another significant personnel decision. Israel international Ilay Elmkies has signed a contract which will keep him at the club until 30 June 2023. The 19-year-old midfielder, who has to-date been a member of the TSG U23 squad in the Regionalliga, will be integrated into Head Coach Alfred Schreuder's Bundesliga squad with immediate effect.

''Ilay is a talented player with bags of potential. He still needs a bit of time to develop, but that's exactly what he'll get with us,'' said Alexander Rosen. The TSG Director of Football then went on to add: ''Our approach, which consists of promoting talented players from our academy into the first-team squad and developing them further, is one which we continue to follow with .''

Elmkies, who was involved in parts of the first team's preseason preparations in the summer, has been a fixture in the U23 side this season. He was named in a senior-team matchday squad for the first time last October in the 2-0 DFB Cup win at home to MSV Duisburg. He also regularly joined the first-team squad for training sessions this season and travelled with the group to Marbella for winter training camp.

The midfielder, a native of Nahariya in Israel, has been at the club since the age of 14. He was part of the Hoffenheim U19 squad that was crowned champions of the Bundesliga South/South-West in 2018 and, the following season, reached the semi-final stage of the UEFA Youth League, ultimately losing 3-0 to FC Porto. On 15 October of last year, he made his debut for the Israel national team managed by former Bundesliga star Andreas Herzog, appearing in a 3-1 EURO qualification win over Lithuania. Since then, he has won two further caps for his country. 

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