The Hinrunde didn’t turn out to be a very successful one for Eintracht Frankfurt, who found themselves 14th in the league, just a couple of points hovering above the danger zone. Unsatisfactory results, though, were only half the story for this troubled side with the team losing Bamba Anderson, Johannes Flum, and Stefan Reinartz for the season before winter break with Luc Castaignos also set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines. This left Armin Veh’s team short in numbers and in need of looking for reinforcements in the winter transfer window if they were to meet their goals and ensure their stay in the Bundesliga for another season.
Now, with the transfer window finally closed, it seems as if Frankfurt have gotten the business done and acquired the players they needed with the absences of those aforementioned seemingly indefinite as far as this campaign is concerned. Frankfurt ended up bringing in five new players, the busiest winter transfer period they’ve had since 2001 when, coincidentally, they were 14th at winter break then as well. The final result that year? They finished in 17th and were relegated, resulting in only their second ever demotion to the Zweite Liga.
Frankfurt is certainly determined to avoid a similarly fatal outcome, having finally regained some stability since promotion in 2012 after yo-yoing between the top two divisions in the mid-2000s. They’ve made a statement of intent in doing so as well, by bringing in Marco Fabian from Chivas de Guadalajara of Mexico for €3.6M, making him their second most expensive signing ever after Caio. They also brought back experienced Hungarian international Szabolcs Huszti to Germany by ending his Chinese adventure and loaned in talented defender Kaan Ayhan from Schalke while also bringing the Hertha Berlin pair of Anis Ben-Hatira and Yanni Regasel.
Fabian is an all-round attacking midfield who can operate in any of the positions behind the strikers. In just two matches with Die Adler, the Mexican has created some flair and invention in a Frankfurt midfield sorely lacking that since the departure of Takashi Inui to Spain in the summer. Ben-Hatira and Huszti give them the options to utilize the wings, having played formations without any for much of the Hinrunde which may come as a very useful move in order to get more service for and eventually productivity out of forwards like Haris Seferovic and Alex Meier.
Ayhan can play both in central defense and in defensive midfield so he’s signed as a stop-gap option to cover for the injuries of Anderson and Reinartz, while improving his own chances of getting minutes in top flight football, having only made one league appearance for Schalke earlier in the season. Regasel is also a relatively versatile player as he’s able to play at both right back and center half. The 20 year-old has already earned himself some valuable first team experience at Hertha this year before his unexpected deadline day move, which something of a surprise.
Frankfurt have made the investments deemed necessary in order to bolster the squad and keep their injury problems from derailing their season. Now it’s just about getting the results to insure that they stay in the top flight for a fifth consecutive year. They’ve made a good start to the Ruckrunde with four points from two tricky games against Wolfsburg and Augsburg and they’ll be hoping that the only way from here is to go forward and collect more points on the board.
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