March 23, 2017

Wolf Turns Eagle: Surprise Package Srdjan Lakic?

Eintracht manager Armin Veh was pushing for it, Sporting Director Bruno Hübner did not tire to pursue the deal – and finally it all came together. Plenty of observers had expected that Srdjan Lakic’s move from Wolfsburg to Eintracht would not go ahead anymore, the negotiations seemed to have come to a halt, other names appeared on the news. This week they were all surprised by the 29-year-old’s presence for a medical in Frankfurt on Monday and by his presentation on Tuesday.

The Eintracht officials seem to be totally convinced of Lakic’s abilities but there are also some question marks. The Croatian has not been a regular starter since the 2010/11 season which was arguably his best campaign (16 goals in 31 games for Kaiserslautern). Since May 2011 he had only seven matches over the full 90 minutes and was mainly working part-time recording only 12% of the possible 6120 on pitch minutes in the last two seasons (751 min in 25 appearances).

It is no surprise that his goal tally of the previous two years looks rather blank. He last netted for FCK in the final match of the 2010/11 season against Werder Bremen. Surely Lakic must be keen as mustard to prove his critics wrong. Surely he is itching to get back onto that pitch and to get cracking. He reportedly accepted a large pay cut to make the move to Frankfurt possible, which on the other hand most likely was a necessity looking at the Wolves’ paying habits.

But will he fit into the team? Will he live up to the great performances the Eintracht lads have shown this season? He is a footballing Kinder egg to some extent – looking like a tasty transfer on the outside but inside one could find either a hell of a toy or a great disappointment.

Of course he is also remembered for the rather indelicate episode when he already posed for a picture with a Wolfsburg shirt while still playing at Kaiserslautern, two days ahead of an important cup match and half a year before the move actually took place. But then a good character is one of Veh’s top priorities when signing players.

Plenty of difficult personas have left the club since he and Hübner came on board. The two have repeatedly confirmed that Lakic fits their profile and is a good match for the squad, and they signed some great players already. But the last convincing transfer concerning strikers was Mo Idrissou who returned to Kaiserslautern at the start of the season. Occean, Hoffer, Kouemaha, Friend – none of them have paid off so far. In this respect Lakic also remains a surprise package.

Header courtesy of dpa

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