This is what happens to Hertha’s summer departures
With relegation from the Bundesliga, Hertha BSC also had to say goodbye to a lot of players in the summer. 22 professionals left the club. Not everyone has found their new sporting happiness yet. By Ilja Behnisch
The fact that football clubs reorganize themselves in the event of relegation and completely renovate the squad is the rule rather than the exception. And it’s mostly necessary, both financially and sportingly. At second division team Hertha BSC was the situation in the summer after wild Windhorst years additionally tightened. After all, the license was probably at least granted briefly on the brink. In the end, the club generated a transfer increase of probably over 25 million euros.
But how have the now ex-Herthan players been doing since then? A small selection of the most prominent of the 22 summer departures.
Dodi Lukebakio (FC Sevilla, 26 years old, 32 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
In the big, gray fog that the Hertha 2022/23 season resembled, Lukebakio was the closest thing to a flashlight that would have found a way out. In the end, the Belgian international had eleven goals and four assists. It became clear even quicker than Lukebakio could walk that the third most expensive transfer in the club’s history (20 million euros) and a big earner would not go to the second division. Nevertheless, it took until the end of August before the winger was able to present a new club, Sevilla FC. The Spaniards transferred a reported ten million euros to Berlin and received a regular player. Good for Lukebakio: He is the third best goalscorer for the Andalusians. Bad for Sevilla: with only two goals. The reigning Europa League winner is in the Spanish fog. 15th place after eleven games. Coach dismissal included.
Oliver Christensen (AC Florenz, 24 years old, 33 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
The Danish goalkeeper and fan favorite played two second division games for Hertha and then moved to the Italian Renaissance metropolis for an estimated 4.5 million euros. There, in old footballer Latin, he came, played and played no more. That means: the second and third matchdays in the Italian Serie A belonged to him. After a 4-0 defeat at Inter Milan, Christensen had to give up his place again to Florentine veteran Pietro Terracciano. No wonder: Terracciano means something like “inhabitant of a castle”.
Jessic Ngankam (Eintracht Frankfurt, 23 years old, 18 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
A native of Berlin with a passionate game – if anyone Berlin way should embody what the new Hertha leadership around President Kay Bernstein wants to do, then Ngankam. But the U21 international saw his future in the Bundesliga and moved to Eintracht Frankfurt for around four million euros. So far he has been in the starting line-up in every fifth game. Recently, however, he was either not in the squad at all or, like in the weekend game at Union Berlin (3-0), he sat on the bench for over 90 minutes. In a total of 15 competitive appearances he scored three goals: two against Lok Leipzig in the cup, one in the European Cup against Levski Sofia.
Lucas Tousart (Union Berlin, 26 years old, 33 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
The record transfer in Hertha history has apparently settled in in Berlin, which is why he simply moved over to Union in the summer. The city rival only had to pay 2.8 million euros, a fraction of Hertha’s previous transfer fee (25 million). A change that Hertha icon and young boss Zecke Neuendorf made as part of the General meeting said: “There were no other clubs that bid.” Tousart’s answer: “I also had other opportunities, especially in Italy, but that didn’t suit me. I feel comfortable here in Berlin.” And apparently in a relegation battle. The Frenchman hasn’t really convinced in the Union jersey yet. Recently, his country’s former youth international even slipped out of the starting eleven.
Marco Richter (Mainz 05, 25 years old, 29 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
Hertha BSC started the second division season with him as captain. Then Marco Richter said goodbye in exchange for a transfer fee of three million euros Mainz 05 to continue playing in the Bundesliga. With manageable success. He has made seven appearances to date with an average playing time of 27,571 minutes. Goal participation: none. Under former coach Bo Svensson he didn’t even make it into the squad recently. In the 2-0 win over RB Leipzig and under interim coach Jan Siewert, the offensive all-rounder was thrown straight back into the starting line-up.
Maximilian Mittelstädt (VfB Stuttgart, 26 years old, 17 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
Started his Swabian adventure with a flawless performance: 100 percent completed passes after coming on as a substitute in the game in Leipzig. This may also be due to the fact that Mittelstädt, who appeared on the Neckar for a fee of around 500,000 euros, was only substituted on in stoppage time. When the score was 1:5. Since then, like in Berlin, a constant part-time worker. At least he was allowed to play from the start and for over 90 minutes in the 3-0 away win at Union Berlin. At least it fits perfectly with Stuttgart’s controversial breast sponsor: Winamax.
Stevan Jovetic (Olympiakos Piraeus, 34 years old, 17 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
Continues to collect country points in his eighth professional position. After Serbia, Italy, England, Spain, France and Germany, the former child prodigy is now working his way through Greek football as a part-time worker on a free transfer. Three scorer points in five appearances are impressive. Especially since Stevan Jovetic only needed 162 minutes of play. Side note: If you click on the homepage you once registered, sjovetic.com (which you probably shouldn’t do without valid virus protection), you will notice lots of Chinese characters, pictures of half-naked women and the option to stream various films. But as they say in Jovetic’s Montenegrin homeland: “God gives every bird its food, but he doesn’t throw it into their nest.”
Suat Serdar (Hellas Verona, 26 years old, 32 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
Moved to Hertha after being relegated with Schalke. Moved to Verona on loan after being relegated with Hertha. Is in a relegation zone with Hellas. After all: with only 26,571 minutes of average playing time and seven appearances in total, the four-time Germany national player is certainly only partially to blame. Nevertheless: Whatever the football god has against the undoubtedly talented Serdar – the two should talk.
Wilfried Kanga (Standard Liège, 25 years old, 23 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
The two-time Ivory Coast international has already pulverized the two Bundesliga goals that Bobic transfer Kanga scored for Hertha while on loan in Belgium. Kanga has four goals and two assists after eleven games. Liège is struggling in the middle of the league. Apparently exactly the right thing for the man who, according to the Hertha coach, was not in the physical condition for professional football for a long time and who later didn’t really want to find the motivation for second division football in Berlin. Fun fact: In the Bantu language of the Xhosa people, Kanga means “how much.”
Marvin Plattenhardt (unemployed, 31 years old, 31 games for Hertha in the relegation season)
The ex-captain of the relegated Hertha is currently without a club. Of course, he “imagined everything differently,” said Plattenhardt in a recent interview with the “BZ,” but “he didn’t gamble away.” There would have been offers, including from England, Italy and Turkey. But because of his wife’s pregnancy, there was nothing that was right. Now he is hoping to sign a contract during the winter break. Mockers could now claim that speed of action has never been Plattenhardt’s strength. After all, when the cross came, it was usually with enormous precision.
Broadcast: rbb24, November 5th, 2023, 10 p.m
The post first appeared on www.rbb24.de