Eintracht Frankfurt set for tough 2014-15 after Rode exit

Bayern Munich have this week announced the pre-contract signing of talented midfielder Sebastian Rode from Eintracht Frankfurt, with the 23-year-old moving to Bavaria at the end of the season.

For the Commerzbank-Arena outfit it marks the end of a prolonged battle to keep their prize asset at the club, but there was an air of inevitability over Rode’s switch to the Allianz Arena.

Haven broken into the Frankfurt-based club’s first team in 2010, Rode quickly started to showcase promise and was selected for the Germany under-21 side a year later.

The defensive midfielder has been vocal of late in his desire to leave Eintracht for a bigger club, with Champions League football the goal.

For Armin Veh’s men, Rode’s departure will be a bitter pill to swallow, especially given that they will not receive a transfer fee for their star man.

On the pitch, Rode’s composure in front of his side’s defence, poise on the ball and leadership will all be things that the club will miss – and replacing someone of his ability on a relatively modest budget will be a difficult task.

Sebastian RodeHowever, Eintracht will be bracing themselves for another potential hammer blow this summer as excitement and transfer speculation continues to build around another of their young stars – Sebastian Jung.

The attack-minded right-back has once more starred for the side this season in an ever-present role in Eintracht’s defence and his exploits have not gone unnoticed.

Jung’s agent has recently revealed that he has been in touch with teams in Italy and England, with every chance that this summer could well mark the full-back’s Eintracht exit.

Veh’s men will be relatively powerless to reject the overtures from cash-rich foreign sides, with the club having a history of parting with its players when bigger boys come knocking.

Jung has played a significant role alongside Rode in the Germany under-21 side and he certainly has showcased the ability to play at a higher level.

Replacing these two essential parts of the Eintracht side that played leading roles in the team’s sixth-placed finish last term will not be easy.

There is every likelihood that the club will look to its youth system and blood more new stars in their place as transfer expenditure has been minimal over recent seasons.

Eintracht have only spent in the region of €15 million over the last four years, with shrewd acquisitions and loan signings keeping the club competitive.

Alongside Rode’s departure and the interest in Jung, the club will have to negotiate the potential return of this season’s loan players to their parent clubs.

Spanish forward Joselu has spent the campaign with Eintracht on loan from Hoffenheim and is the club’s leading scorer with eight league goals.

Experienced Swiss midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta has also played an influential role in the side during his temporary deal from Schalke. Should these two not be bought permanently, more holes start to appear in the Eintracht team ahead of next season.

It shouldn’t be all doom and gloom for the club, who have built on last season’s sixth-placed finish with a mid-table showing this time round and a foray into Europa League football.

However, for the club to avoid a campaign fighting against the threat of relegation next term, some clever moves in the transfer market are a pre-requisite.

I am a freelance football journalist from Northern Ireland living in Broome in Western Australia. I have worked for top media outlets such as FourFourTwo, goal.com, Soccerlens, Football Fancast and Here is the City. I am a lifelong and long-suffering Tottenham fan. Follow me on Twitter at @90MinsOnline
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