Hamburg's Alen Halilovic excited by 'big challenge' after leaving Barcelona

Alen Halilovic is excited and proud to have joined Hamburg after signing from Barcelona in a deal believed to be worth €5 million.

Halilovic, 20, completed the transfer on Thursday, when he put pen to paper on a four-year deal at the Volksparkstadion with the option for Barca to buy him back for €10m within the next two years.

"I am delighted and proud to be here. HSV are a big club, Hamburg is a big city, and thus it's a big challenge for me to play here," Halilovic told the club's official website. "It just feels right."

The Croatia international, who spent last season on loan at Sporting Gijon, will follow in club legend Rafael van der Vaart's footsteps and take the No. 23 jersey.

"I know the No. 23 has a special meaning here," Halilovic added. "Of course I know Rafael van der Vaart, an outstanding player who set the world on fire at Hamburg."

Hamburg finished the last Bundesliga season in tenth, after just avoiding relegation the previous two campaigns. However, the 1983 European Cup winners traditionally aim high and once again hope to end their constant struggles this season.

Already in May, the club bolstered their attack with United States international Bobby Wood, who joined from second-tier club Union Berlin.

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old U.S. forward returned from his post-Copa America Centenario holiday and is set to join his new teammates in training at the weekend ahead of a season in which he hopes to push for European football.

"A few years ago, Hamburg were a big name in Bundesliga, and played in Europe," he told Bild. "The club and the city have the potential to return there. That's our goal and I want to give my best for it."