Sebastian Rode, 23, is a more defensive-minded midfielder who has started 14 Bundesliga games for relegation-threatened Eintracht Frankfurt this season. The midfielder is comfortable in possession and has good tactical awareness – traits of a typical Pep Guardiola midfielder
Rode averages over 50 passes per game with a completion rate of 84.7% - making the 23-year-old Eintracht’s busiest midfielder.
Eintracht tried to persuade their midfielder star to stay at the club, yet sporting director Bruno Hubner always knew a deal with Bayern was in the pipeline, telling reporters of the deal:
“I knew nine months ago.”
The deal may come as a surprise to some and some have questioned the reasons behind Sebastian Rode making such a big move at this stage of his career as the European Champions aren’t lacking in competition in the midfield area – they can count on stars such as Thiago, Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Kroos and Shaqiri amongst other options.
One man in particular who could have fresh doubts over his future following the announcement of Rode is Swiss international midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri.
The 22-year-old midfielder has barely featured so far under Pep Guardiola, making just three Bundesliga starts and three substitute appearances during the Champions League.
Shaqiri has struggled to make an impact amongst a host of midfield and attacking midfield options that Bayern already possess, and there were talks of Premier league interest from Arsenal and Liverpool.
Arsene Wenger is a keen admirer of the former Basel midfielder, with Swiss reports in October suggesting that Arsenal could make a €15m offer during the January transfer window. With Arsenal’s current predicament over strikers, perhaps a midfielder isn’t Wenger’s top priority right now, but a move in the summer could become a real possibility.
Liverpool manager Brandan Rodgers is another that has taken a look into the situation regarding Shaqiri’s lack of playing time. Reports came out in December regarding a possible loan move, however it seems Bayern weren’t willing to do that at the current time
Both managers will be sure to keep a close eye on Shaqiri’s situation during the second half of the season and should the Swiss international fail to make more appearances in a Bayern shirt, following the signing of Sebastian Rode, then perhaps a summer deal is well on the cards?
image: © jiazi