VfL Bochum 1848 welcome back a familiar face: Michael Esser returns to Castroper Straße. The 33-year-old goalkeeper was previously under contract at the club between 2008 and 2015, having turned out for Bochum's youth system between 1999 to 2001. After making his professional debut with VfL he made 25 competitive appearances for the club before moving on to Sturm Graz and then Darmstadt 98 before joining Hannover 96. After four years with the Lower Saxons, including a six-month loan spell at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Esser is now returning to the Ruhr region on a free transfer. He has signed a contract with VfL until 30 June 2023.

Esser’s career has come full circle. Prior to his first-team debut at the club Esser had his football education playing for Bochum's U23s before making his debut in the 2nd Bundesliga on the last matchday of the 2011/12 season. He went on to make another 23 2. Bundesliga games in the VfL jersey and one game in the DFB Cup. In 2015, Esser moved to the Austrian Bundesliga and even played in the Europa League qualifiers with Sturm Graz. A year later, he moved to the Bundesliga in Germany, playing 63 games in the top flight and 30 games in the 2nd Bundesliga for Darmstadt 98 and Hannover 96.

"With Michael Esser, we are completing our goalkeeper team", says Sebastian Schindzielorz, Director of Sport at VfL Bochum 1848. "Bruno has experience in the Bundesliga, knows what is required at VfL and will be an asset to the team".

Michael Esser is looking forward to returning to his old stomping ground: "I wouldn't have left Hannover 96 for just any club. But when VfL comes knocking and makes an offer, I'm very happy to look at it. I'm delighted that VfL have achieved promotion and now I want to do my bit to help us stay in the Bundesliga".



DOB: 22.11.1987 (Castrop-Rauxel 6.5m from Bochum)

Height: 198 cm

Weight: 93 kg

Nationality: Germany

BL games: 63

2nd BL games: 54

BL AUT games: 36

Europa League Games: 1

Previous clubs: Hannover 96 (2017-2021), TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (01/2020-07/2020), SV Darmstadt 98 (2016-17), SK Sturm Graz/AUT (2015/16), VfL Bochum 1848 (2008-2015, 1999-2001), SV Sodingen (2007/08), Wacker Castrop (2006/07), VfB Habinghorst (2004-2006, 1997-1999), SpVgg Erkenschwick (2001-2004), VfR Rauxel 08 (1993-1997), SC Arminia Ickern (04/1992-1993)