Sunday 18th July 2021
Chameleon instead of gray mouse
Bobic’s bold Hertha plan is taking shape
By Stephan Uersfeld
The team restructuring at Hertha BSC continues to take shape. The new sporting director, Fredi Bobic, is creating space for new players and will probably raise an astonishing 20 million euros for the Colombian striker Jhon Cordoba. Subject to the pending medical check, he will move to the Russian league. There he will play for FK Krasnodar in the coming season.
The 28-year-old striker only joined the capital’s club last summer for a transfer fee of 15 million euros and, despite numerous injuries, was one of the stronger players with seven goals this season in a more than mixed season for the “old lady” who shimmy with a bang to keep up the league.
“I thanked him for his goals. Every goal he made for Hertha BSC was important,” said coach Pal Dardai about the upcoming departure of the player who played nine games under the Hertha veteran. Dardai had only taken over the team from Bruno Labbadia in late January and dragged it over the finish line with two points ahead of the relegation place. “He is a passionate footballer. In the end, the player always decides. And if he has a chance of what he wants to do, then there is nothing in the way. Nevertheless, I thanked you for everything he did last season”, explained Dardai, who is a polite person.
The renovation continues
Do not put any stones in the way, professionals willing to migrate can rely on that at Hertha BSC this summer. The Australian Matthew Leckie moved back to his homeland, Eduard Löwen plays on loan for newly promoted VfL Bochum and Berlin-born Jessic Ngankam first joined Greuther Fürth and then seriously injured his knee. Omar Alderete (Valencia), Sami Khedira (end of career), Nemanja Radonjic and Matteo Guendouzi (back to their hometown clubs) complete the list.
The Brazilian selection player Matheus Cunha is currently still at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, but could still be transferred after his return. Despite his great talent and his repeatedly conveyed affection for the city of Berlin, Dardai and Bobic should not resist a transfer. Too often last season, Cunha seemed lost and absent in the wide area of the empty Olympic Stadium.
“Matheus is our best footballer, but he has to change a few things because otherwise he will have problems in the future, no matter where he plays. If you get something on your feet, you can get up again,” said Bobic last and reported on conversations with the 22-year-old’s advisor: “It was a good conversation. If Matheus wants to move on, then only if the economic conditions are right.” There are also rumors about striker Dodi Lukebakio. The Belgian international, at times severely limited in his processes, could move on for Hertha BSC after two years, 63 competitive games and 15 goals. Bobic hopes for another 15 million for the squad restructuring.
So far hardly any newcomers, but optimism
Hertha currently only reports the eternal Kevin-Prince Boateng, who is supposed to lead the squad in the dressing room, and Suat Serdar, who was released from Schalke 04 for only 8 million. A forgotten player returns with striker Davie Selke. The local press believes that he will play a good role. Nevertheless, Fredi Bobic wants to lead Hertha BSC into the top third of the table in the Bundesliga in the long term. He had already achieved this with Eintracht Frankfurt. Also through a surprising transfer philosophy, which, among other things, revealed Filip Kostic’s hidden talent up to this point in time, and was mostly characterized by a deep knowledge of the transfer market. After disappointing years for the capital city club, he wants to get Hertha, the club he joined in June, back on track together with club boss Carsten Schmidt, who recently rejected a request from the DFL to succeed Christian Seifert.
“Football is about sustainability. Overall, a club has to grow in all fields,” said Bobic at the beginning of July. “You have to set the basics first, but always with ambitions.” In addition to numerous new employees and sports director Arne Friedrich, he will also be helped by the so-called Windhorst millions, about which there has been quite a stir in the past few weeks. After a lot of excitement, Hertha received an outstanding 30 million euro installment from the investor at the beginning of July.
“I am happy when we have more equity. But we will see with wise eyes how much money we want to spend,” said Bobic after receiving the payment and announced that the club wanted to “reduce personnel costs”. He will, said the 49-year-old, “be like a chameleon” and “always adapt to the situation”.
It is not yet clear what color it will soon be. The weeks until the end of August promise excitement for the league’s grayest mouse.