FC St.Pauli has made another signing for the future shortly before the end of the transfer period: Marcel Beifus, an 18-year-old central defender from VfL Wolfsburg, has been a regular in all U teams for several years and has even played for the U17 and U19 national teams. As has become customary under Andreas Bornemann, no contract term was communicated.
(Cover picture: FC St. Pauli)
The story so far
Yes, well, that is of course far less exciting than Tore Reginiussen, for example, but you have to start somewhere. Marcel Beifus did this as a footballer with MTV Wolfenbüttel and VfL Hockenheim before moving to the youth team of VfL Wolfsburg in 2017. With the U17s, he became champion of the northern division and played in both games of the semi-final against Borussia Dortmund – as a centre forward! Although he started the season as a central defender, he played the last third of the season as a striker and still scored seven goals in nine games.
In the U19s, however, he returned to central defence and captained the team in the 3:2 win at St. Pauli in December 2019.
Last season, he was a member of Wolfsburg’s U23 men’s squad, which was then withdrawn from play at the end of the season – and you don’t need a crystal ball to know that this certainly strengthened the desire to leave Wolfsburg, as playing practice with the Champions League participants was not necessarily in the cards.
He played for the DFB teams at the U17 European Championship 2019 (two games) and in September 2020 he played twice for the U19 team.
Honestly, it’s not that easy to create a meaningful profile of Marcel Beifus. He has only played in test matches this season and in a total of seven matches in the regional league the season before. So we have to capitulate a little when it comes to finding experts who know the U23s of VfL Wolfsburg and previously the U-teams well and can assess Beifus’ performance. Unfortunately, we can’t do magic and therefore have to be satisfied with a look at the data and videos.
A look at the data
Based on the 20/21 season in the Regionalliga and the 19/20 season in the U19 Bundesliga, it is particularly clear that Marcel Beifus has a strong heading game. Apart from that, there is actually nothing that statistically falls short of the respective division average (though nothing that is overly striking either). Beifus is somewhat above average when it comes to building up the game, especially in the category “passes into the offensive third”. However, it should be noted that VfL Wolfsburg is one of the top teams in both the Regionalliga and the U19 Bundesliga, so the number and success rate of passes is automatically somewhat higher.
A look at the videos from Wyscout helps to assess at least a few scenes of Marcel Beifus. It is striking that Beifus is quite dynamic for a central defender. His passing game is rock solid and, as the data already show, above average into the final third. It is clear that Marcel Beifus was trained in one of the best youth academies in Germany. Often, even very often, Beifus is able to play the pass with the first contact and is also quite resistant to pressing.
Although Marcel Beifus is not particularly tall for a central defender at 1.87m, he still has a very good head ball game. He usually makes up for the missing centimetres with good positioning for the high ball. In his tackling, it is clear that Beifus is relatively robust despite his 18 years. His stats are slightly above average. Of enormous advantage is his speed, which is rather unusual for a centre-back.
It may not sound particularly sexy, but I would describe Marcel Beifus as a rock-solid centre-back. And that is meant in a totally positive way. Because at just 18 years old, it’s striking that he has no real weaknesses in any area.
In the pre-season games, Marcel Beifus played on the right side of the defence, partly because of his speed. There he made a good, albeit not a particularly conspicuous impression. Let’s summarise: Young, unknown, rather small for a central defender, but nevertheless strong in the header – that reminds us a bit of a certain Leo Østigård…
Beifus comes, who goes?
There are only a few hours left until the end of the summer transfer period. It seems at least possible that something will happen in the FC St. Pauli squad until then. Because together with Beifus, we count seven centre-backs at FC St. Pauli. So this position can be considered overstaffed. However, this does not mean that a departure is necessary to be expected. Marcel Beifus could possibly get a lot of playing time in the U23s at the beginning. While in many places the U23 teams are deregistered (as is also the case in Wolfsburg), FC St. Pauli is taking a different approach and trying to create an even closer link between the professional and U23 squads. That is certainly an argument for players with the development potential to transfer to FCSP.
Developable is also the keyword for Marcel Beifus. Because at just 18 years of age, FC St. Pauli can look forward to a player who can and wants to develop further. Development also seems to be the focus planned by all sides, as Andreas Bornemann, for example, announced in his statement (“(…) we trust him to develop at FC St. Pauli behind our more experienced defenders.”). Marcel Beifus seems to have the basic prerequisites for positive development. For someone who has been a regular in all of VfL Wolfsburg’s U-teams, it is certainly to be expected that he will sooner or later be able to assert himself in a second division team.
Welcome to the Millerntor, Marcel Beifus!
//Maik&Tim (translated by Arne)