In yet another last-minute transfer deadline-day loan move Ingolstadt forward Jalen Hawkins has moved to 3. Liga team FC Saarbrücken on loan in a bid to increase his playing time over the next few months.
Hawkins had been used sparingly by Ingolstadt this season, appearing in six league games and one in the DFB Pokal with the first team, also with a pair of appearances for their reserves in the German fifth-tier.
The former USA U18 and U20 forward will spend he remainder of the current season in Saarbrücken, who are amongst a group of teams fighting for promotion to the 2. Bundesgliga.
His new team has high hopes that he can boost their attack, with their sporting director Jürgen Luginger stating, “Jalen is a highly talented player with enormous speed and offensive drive. He fits perfectly into our requirement profile and we have reason to hope that he will make our attacking game even more variable and effective.”
Hawkins follows in the path of fellow Ingolstadter Justin Butler, who was one of the first Yank transfers of the winter season, making a similar move to another 3. Liga promotion hopeful, Waldhof Mannheim.
Saarbrücken are currently in third place in the division, which would put them in place to participate in the promotion playoff against the 16th-place finisher in the 2. Bundesliga.
This team will almost certainly not be his parent club Ingolstadt, who are currently dead-last in the division, seven points off of the playoff, and almost certain to be directly relegated back to the 3. Liga.
Concurrent to the loan announcement, Ingolstadt confirmed that Hawkins extended his contract with the team, thus his loan will likely serve as a good warm-up for Ingolstadt’s almost certain time back in the 3. Liga next season.
The German-American could already have a chance for action in exactly one week, when Saarbrücken host relegation strugglers Würzburger Kickers in Monday-night action, a game which could help them solidify their current advantage in the race for a promotion opportunity.