Former Celtic defender Moritz Jenz has spoken about his Hoops exit after making a positive start to life at his new club, Schalke.

The German centre-back spent the first half of the season as part of Ange Postecoglou’s squad, making 19 appearances in total as part of the back four.

The initial loan agreement between the Hoops and Ligue 1 side Lorient included an option to buy. So many supporters were intrigued to see if that would be followed up next summer.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

However, that question was swiftly answered in the January transfer window after Jenz’s loan stay at Celtic was cut short.

The arrival of Yuki Kobayashi meant that minutes on the park and a long-term future at Parkhead were unlikely for the defender. So both parties came to an agreement to cut the deal short.

The 23-year-old has since moved back to his homeland, joining German Bundesliga side Schalke as he looks to help save the club from relegation.

Although he is just three games into his Schalke career, Jenz is already keen to see his stay made permanent after earning regular football once again.

Speaking in a recent interview, the ex-Celtic loanee briefly discussed his Hoops exit, stating that it was both his and parent club Lorient’s wish to depart due to game time.

The French club sought out a change for Jenz in the January window after it become clear that a permanent move to Parkhead was unlikely.

Borussia Mönchengladbach v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

He said [Sports Bild]: I played all the time and was a regular in the Champions League.

“We were top of the league. But there are moments when a coach decides to use other players. Then it became difficult for me. Lorient, my home club, then also sought a change.

“Celtic had a purchase option for the coming summer, and from Lorient’s point of view, it was becoming increasingly unrealistic that this would be drawn. Moreover, it was also my clear desire to change clubs.

He continued: “That (the nickname) was after my first game for Celtic against Ross County. I scored directly in the 3-1 win, and a friend from Italy wrote to me afterwards that the Celtic fans were already publishing photos on the internet of Mercedes cars with my head on them.

“That went round more and more. When I was walking through Glasgow, almost everyone addressed me as “Mercedes”. I think it’s great because it’s a form of appreciation.”

Moritz Jenz off to successful start in Germany after Celtic January exit.

Many Celtic supporters weren’t too surprised to see Jenz depart in the January transfer window after the signing of Yuki Kobayashi.

Celtic FC v RB Leipzig: Group F - UEFA Champions League
Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Normally, when a loan is cut short, it suggests that the move didn’t work out for a player. However, that certainly wasn’t the case for Moritz Jenz.

The central defender was a solid addition to Ange Postecoglou’s backline and rarely put a foot wrong in his 19 appearances for the club.

But, as Jenz mentions, it became clear that game time was unlikely, and the same could be said for the idea of his stay becoming permanent.

Of course, Jenz has since made the move to Germany, and it has been a strong start to his second loan spell of the campaign.

He joined the club, who are currently sitting bottom of the German top flight and have the worse defensive record in the league.

Ligue 1 side Lorient are clearly keen to offload the defender, and if he continues his current form at Schalke, I am sure they will be looking to make the deal permanent.

Tthe ex-Celtic man has now made three appearances for the club, and all three games have ended with Schalke keeping a clean sheet.

The former Fulham academy player appears to have helped settle things down defensively, playing his part in three separate 0-0 draws.

It just goes to show the quality that Jenz possesses. Although it didn’t work out at Celtic in the end, in terms of making his stay long-term, he has been able to go out and prove his worth back in his homeland.

Jenz clearly got what it meant to play for Celtic, so it has been great to see him kick off his Schalke career successfully. Here’s hoping he can continue to put in solid performances for his new side!

In other news, Scott Brown reveals the valuable Celtic connections who have offered early managerial advice.

Related Topics