Matthias Ginter says one of the reasons he left Borussia Dortmund was to establish himself as a centre back ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
The 23-year-old became something of a utility player at Dortmund at times, although he was not without game time at Signal Iduna Park last season, playing in over 40 games in all competitions.
But with the arrival of centre-backs Omer Toprak and Dan-Axel Zagadou at the club, the former Freiburg defender felt there was a level of uncertainty surrounding his place in the side and subsequently made the switch to VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Speaking to the Bundesliga website, Ginter explained he considered a number of factors before ending his three-year stay.
He said: “I played a lot of games last season – more than 40 in all competitions.
“Dortmund signed two new centre-backs [Omer Toprak from Bayer Leverkusen and Dan-Axel Zagadou from Paris Saint-Germain], and there was some uncertainty about who would replace Thomas Tuchel as coach.
“It was therefore hard for me to gauge where I’d fit in. I know that versatile players are often appreciated, but it can also be a curse. I think the time has come for me to establish myself as a centre-back.
“That’s why staying in Dortmund the year before the World Cup was just too big a risk. Of course, that’s not the only reason I chose to join Gladbach.”
He added: “It was Gladbach’s perseverance that convinced me to join. The feeling that everyone at the club wanted me to be here.
“They tried and failed to sign me twice before, and that they didn’t give up this time convinced me 100 per cent that it was the right thing to sign.
“Dieter Hecking also made contact with me in previous seasons when he was the coach at Wolfsburg. There’s no question, I had three really good years in Dortmund, but now is the time for a new challenge, and the chance to be an important player is greater for me at Gladbach than it was in Dortmund.”