A portrait of newcomer Rapahel Holzhauser

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From: Killian Drexl


Raphael Holzhauser played twice for the Austrian national team. © Imago Images / GEPA Images

TSV 1860 is looking for reinforcements in midfield. Raphael Holzhauser’s move is imminent. The 29-year-old has plenty of experience.

Munich- Raphael Holzhauser’s transfer from Belgian first division club OH Leuven to TSV 1860 Munich is on the straight line. Only the final details need to be clarified in terms of personnel, so Holzhauser could already join the team in the training camp in Belek, Turkey. Coach Michael Köllner has been hoping for weeks for a new winter signing for the central midfielder. Now the lions have apparently found their dream player as Holzhauser is seen as an all-rounder and brings with him various qualities that are currently lacking in TSV’s game. With a market value of €1.4m, he is also said to be the most valuable player in the 3rd division.

Rapahel Holzhauser: 1.93 meters, specialist in long-range shooting and set pieces

The 29-year-old brings a lot of presence with his stature alone. The Austrian, born in Wiener Neustadt, is 1.93 meters tall. Due to his physical condition and technical skills, Holzhauser is said to have great potential even at a young age. The midfield engine has a nice left foot and is also known for his long-range shots and icy set pieces.

Although Holzhauser has never been able to definitively assert himself in the Bundesliga, he can look back on an impressive career so far. Among other things, the former Austria captain has 19 Europa League games and ten other qualifying games in his CV. He has also played twice for the Austrian national team since 2020 and was part of the Alpine Republic’s starting XI in both games under Franco Foda.

Holzhauser played 36 times in the Bundesliga for Stuttgart and Augsburg

From youth club ATSV Teesdorf, Holzhauser ventured into the Rapid Vienna youth team in 2003, where he played for six years. Presented as a promising talent, VfB Stuttgart sold him from the Austrian capital at 16 for 100,000 euros. After gaining experience in the 3rd division with the Stuttgart reserve team, he celebrated his Bundesliga debut on 21 January 2012 in an away match against Schalke. But Holzhauser could not assert himself at VfB in the long term.

A total of 35 more Bundesliga games followed for Holzhauser, who was loaned out to compatriot FC Augsburg in the 2013/14 season. After his return, the Swabians finally sold him in the winter of 2015 for 250,000 euros and Holzhauser returned to his Austrian homeland.

Holzhauser was captain at Austria Vienna

However, he did not return to training club Rapid Vienna, but to city rivals FK Austria, where he became an absolute leader under coach Thorsten Fink. The midfielder, who can be used variably, went on to captain the Violets and impressed in 146 appearances netting 62 points for the capital club.

It was his mentor Thorsten Fink who lured the Austrian game designer to the Zurich Grasshoppers. However, the engagement did not go as hoped, and Holzhauser’s contract was terminated by mutual consent after nearly nine months.

Season 2020/21: 32 points in the first Belgian championship

Beerschot then secured the services of the Challenger Pro League, which turned out to be a real stroke of luck for the Belgians. Unlike at the start of his career, when he mainly played in central defensive midfield or in the eighth position, his coaches relied on Holzhauser’s qualities as a playmaker.

‘Rapha’, as his name on the shirt suggests, led the Antwerp side to promotion and immediately had a stellar season in the Jupiler Pro League. In the 2020/21 season, he scored 16 goals and provided 16 assists in 34 games.

Holzhauser’s market value was 4.2 million a year and a half ago

This balance also earned him his career high in terms of market value with 4.2 million euros. During the last season, however, Beerschot had to be relegated again. Holzhauser wanted to stay in the league and moved to OH-Leuven on a free transfer. Here, number ten has slipped to second in the current season and completed only 33% of possible minutes in the game.

Now he will probably leave the Belgians for Munich after six months. If Holzhauser brings his class to the field in the second half of the season, he could become a real key player for TSV 1860 in the fight for promotion. (Kilian Drexl)

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