After an average 9th place finish in the 2019/20 campaign, Eintracht Frankfurt are set to finish in the top five of the Bundesliga for the first time since 1993/94. Though this current season has been a categorical success, it will be a summer of change for Eintracht Frankfurt. Both sporting CEO Fredi Bobic, and manager Adi Hütter are set to leave the club for new adventures, while much uncertainty remains over the future of their talismanic striker Andre Silva. With these question marks in mind, a new question emerges – what comes next for Die Adler? Will they be able to find new ways of flying at lofty heights, or will they come crashing down to Bundesliga mediocrity?
Bye Bye Bobic
Fredi Bobic has been the sporting CEO at Frankfurt since 2016 and during that time, the club has conducted some of the smartest transfer business in Germany. More specifically, Bobic has shown that he has an eye for spotting talent and future value. Players such as Daichi Kamada, André Silva, Evan N’Dicka, and Filip Kostić were bought for modest fees with their market values skyrocketing during their time at the club. It hasn’t just been player recruitment; Bobic has shown that he knows when to sell his stars, how to get a good price for them, and how to reinvest this income to improve the squad. But with Bobic departing for Hertha Berlin, Markus Krösche has been announced as the man filling his shoes. The appointment of Krösche seems to be a clever one, with two years of experience working behind the scenes at one of Germany’s most forward-thinking clubs in RB Leipzig. Krösche has likely learned a lot during his time in Leipzig, and will try to replicate his former club’s best practices when he moves to Germany’s financial capital. One of his first tasks might very well be having a say in Frankfurt’s next manager.
Another Horse on the Merry-Go-Round
Like so many other Bundesliga teams, Frankfurt will be starting their next campaign with a new manager at the helm. Come next season, Hütter will be managing Borussia Mönchengladbach, and it remains to be seen who will step in to replace him. Ralf Rangnick, Oliver Glasner, Edin Terzić, Roger Schmidt, and Raúl (yes, that Raúl) have all been rumoured to take the job. It would be wise for the club to appoint someone who can reshuffle, rather than rebuild the squad they inherit. Frankfurt have proven that they are a formidable side, capable of competing with the stronger half of the Bundesliga when under the tutelage of a manager who can organize the team well. If the club land a manager who inspires the players and can get the most out of their individual qualities, the stars of the team such as Silva and Kostić may be more willing to continue building something special in Frankfurt, rather than leave for a new challenge.
Once a new manager has been appointed, holding on to the high-quality players Frankfurt already have within their ranks should be the top priority. Silva and Kostić have been two of the best players in Europe this season, never mind just Germany. Off the back of very impressive individual campaigns, they may have their heads turned by the prospect of playing for one of Europe’s elites. Other young players at the club such as N’Dicka, Kamada, and Djibiril Sow will surely be identified as targets by other top clubs. As a result, Frankfurt must have backup plans prepared in case key players are sold. Though losing important players is never easy, Frankfurt are in a good position knowing that their most valuable assets are tied down to long-term contracts. This can allow the club to receive fair offers for their players rather than being forced into selling, or seeing players leave on a free transfer.
Eintracht Frankfurt have been a captivating and entertaining Bundesliga outfit for several years now. Fredi Bobic and Adi Hütter have shaped the club in their image, and it will be extraordinarily difficult to replace such important figures. With that being said Frankfurt have shown that their side has real quality and that they can challenge the likes of Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, and Borussia Monchengladbach for European qualification. A summer of change is coming for Eintracht Frankfurt, and all they can do now is embrace it and start preparing for what could be a challenging 2021/22 campaign.