New FC head coach Steffen Baumgart prepares the FC first team for the new season in the Bundesliga. He’s taken over from Friedhelm Funkel, who secured another Bundesliga season for FC. But not only did Funkel’s contract end last month, eight other contracts expired on June 30th. Marco Höger, Elvis Rexhbecaj, Ron-Robert Zieler, Tolu Arokodare, Marius Wolf, Emmanuel Dennis, Max Meyer and Julian Krahl have all left FC. Managing Director Alexander Wehrle said: “Everyone played their part in ensuring that we managed to stay in the league after a challenging and intense season. We wish you all the best on your future journey and thank you for your commitment to 1. FC Köln. Due to the pandemic, we experienced a season that demanded a lot from everyone involved.”
Marco Höger - five years of full commitment
Marco Höger was born in Cologne and played for FC for five years after joining from FC Schalke 04. Höger was a leader even if didn’t play as much last season (three league games and one cup game), he was extremely important for team spirit off the pitch.
Elvis Rexhbecaj - the derby hero
Elvis Rexhbecaj’s loan deal ended last month after a year and a half. The midfielder returns to VfL Wolfsburg. Rexhbecaj gave his all for the team’s success when he was on the pitch. His two goals which he scored in the derby win against Borussia Mönchengladbach in February will not be forgotten.
Ron-Robert Zieler - a reliable number 2
Ron-Robert Zieler was loaned from Hannover 96. The goalkeeper played for 1. FC Köln when he was younger. On the 7th matchday against Werder Bremen, he showed that he can be relied upon when he is used. Zieler is a goalkeeper with an exemplary mentality who always gives 100 percent in training and demands that from his teammates.
Tolu Arokodare - strong physique
Tolu Arokodare was on loan from Latvian side Valmiera FC for one year. In the Latvian league he had shown that he possesses a strong physique and is a goal threat. In Cologne he tried to get used to the level played in the Bundesliga and featured ten times. Tolu Arokodare is now under contract with Amiens SC in the French second division.
Marius Wolf - the driving force
Marius Wolf joined on loan from Borussia Dortmund. He was completely at the service of the team last season and played where needed. Wolf was a regular, bit his teeth even when he was beaten and showed through body language that he hates nothing more than to lose. Wolf has now played over 100 Bundesliga games.
Emmanuel Dennis - loan striker from Bruges
Emmanuel Dennis was on loan from Club Brugge for six month. Hopes for more goals rested on the striker, especially considering his Champions League experience. For FC, he only played 473 minutes and has now joined Watford.
Max Meyer - tech-savvy
Max Meyer, who played for Schalke before joining Crystal Palace, spent the last six months at 1. FC Köln. The tech-savvy midfielder made 11 appearances for FC and will be looking for a new challenge in the new season despite his skills.
Julian Krahl - a move to Berlin
Julian Krahl was the third goalkeeper at FC last season and continued to develop alongside Timo Horn and Ron-Robrt Zieler. He gained match experience with the U21s in the Regionalliga West and played well. Only July 1, FC complied with a request from the 21-year-old to terminate his contract early. Krahl is now under contract with third division side Viktoria Berlin.
1. FC Köln would like to thank the players for their commitment and wish them all the best for their future careers.
Defenders Robert Voloder (NK Maribor) and Yann Aurel Bisseck (Aarhus GF) have been sent out on loan to allow them the chance to get match practise. FC have signed Dejan Ljubicic (Rapid Vienna), Mark Uth (FC Schalke 04), Timo Hübers (Hannover 96) and Marvin Schwäbe (Bröndby IF) for the new season. In addition, Salih Özcan has extended his contract.
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