Ricardo Pepi completes loan move from Augsburg to FC Groningen

Augsburg striker Ricardo Pepi has completed a loan move to Eredivisie side FC Groningen.

The United States international arrives at Euroborg Stadion on a one-year deal with sources telling 90min there is no option to make the transfer permanent.

Pepi only joined Augsburg from FC Dallas back in January for $20m – the highest fee ever paid for an MLS homegrown player. However, the forward has struggled for form in the Bundesliga, failing to score or assist a single goal in 16 appearances, while he’s often been played out of position.

It’s hoped his move to Groningen will help Pepi rediscover his form in front of goal in order to make a late run at Gregg Berhalter’s World Cup roster later this year.

“I am hungry for goals and I want to help the team,” Pepi told the club’s official website. “Groningen is a beautiful club in the Netherlands where young players are given the opportunity to develop. There are many great players that played here in their younger days.”

Despite his struggles in Germany, Pepi is still only 19 and has proven in the past that he can be a clinical No.9.

The teenager’s breakthrough at FC Dallas saw him register 19 goals and four assists in 59 appearances for the club across all competitions – including 13 goals in 31 regular-season matches during the 2021 MLS campaign.

At international level, Pepi hit three goals and two assists across his first two caps for the United States Men’s National Team to help them qualify for the 2022 World Cup – though he’s managed just one assist in nine caps since then.

Upon Pepi’s arrival, Groningen sit eighth in the Eredivisie with five points from four matches so far.

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