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Of: Daniel Smith


Convinced against Frankfurt’s best: Aurelio Buta (left) in September 2021 for Royal Antwerp against Eintracht star Filip Kostic. imago images © imago images/HMB Media

With right-back Aurelio Buta, Eintracht Frankfurt have signed their sixth new signing – an overview.

The reigning Europa League winner and soon to be a Champions League participant, Eintracht Frankfurt, set the course for the coming season in terms of personnel early on, and six newcomers have already been confirmed. An overview.

Aurelio Buta (25, right-back, Royal Antwerp, free transfer): “Strangely matt”, the FR judged in September 2021 about Filip Kostic, who rarely mats. Back then, in the European Cup game against Antwerp, it was also down to his strong opponent Buta, the man whose commitment Eintracht now officially announced. Aurelio Buta, born in Angola, grew up in Lisbon, trained there at Benfica in his youth, signed for Eintracht for four years, is on the right the replacement for Danny da Costa. The club trusts him to become “a fixture”, as Eintracht sports director Markus Krösche says. Buta made 128 appearances for Antwerp, scoring two goals and providing 21 assists. Has offensive urge, is quick to start, biting. A nice guy off the pitch, full of life, funny. “A good overall package,” says Krösche. However: He always struggles with injuries, especially muscular ones.

Randal Kolo Muani is the king transfer at Eintracht Frankfurt

Randal Kolo Muani (23, centre-forward, FC Nantes, free transfer): So far the king transfer. Already two years ago on the Eintracht note, then too expensive, now free of charge. It costs a lot of earnest money (almost five million). Seems awkward, but it isn’t. Tight turns with long legs, skillfully uses his bones, 1.87 meters tall, but still quite fast. Muani likes to be pulled from the center of the attack to the outside in order to gain speed. He likes pressing. Last with 12 league goals and five assists in Ligue 1, could be more callous. Was a regular in Nantes, also a crowd favorite because he plays unconventionally and causes surprises. Must learn tactically, doesn’t come from a youth boarding school, you can tell, “but I see it as a strength,” he says himself. That’s how he learned to dribble, “and I really like doing feints.” Contract until 2027 with Eintracht. Should storm alongside Rafael Borré, score himself and make the Colombian even more valuable.

Faride Alidou (20, left winger, Hamburger SV, free transfer): A dizzy, loves to turn opponents around, but sometimes turns himself on as well. Seems like he never knows what he’s planning to do next. Right foot that often comes over the left. Lets himself drift on the field, sometimes overdoing it. Plays with the risk, that’s what makes him special, so in autumn 2021 he became a HSV shooting star and an object of desire for Eintracht. Signed until 2026, it will take time to start consistently in the Bundesliga. Recently it wasn’t even enough for league two, at HSV in the end of the season only a replacement. His parents come from Togo, he was born in Hamburg, Wilhelmsburg district. The move to the HSV boarding school at the age of eleven went through all the youth teams, now German U-21 national players. Talent expert Horst Hrubesch once recommended him for the HSV professionals, coach Tim Walter installed him. An inexperienced guy, “good-hearted” and “highly hyped” (Walter), who dares to take the next step after 23 second division games (two goals, seven assists). HSV manager Jonas Boldt: “The crucial point is when do you learn to use your skills seriously as a young player?” Alidou has yet to take this step.

Eintracht Frankfurt: Jerome Onguene and Hrvoje Smolcic for defense

Jerome Onguene (24, central defender, RB Salzburg, free transfer): Not the most punctual, missed his own Salzburg farewell. Only came when the game was already underway, then sat down in the stands – as always. Just 187 minutes on the field in 2022, twice for Cameroon in January, seven minutes for Salzburg in March. Caught malaria at Africa Cup of Nations, bad thing, threw him back. Jerry, as he is called, is a big guy (1.87 meters), is strong in the air, back and forth, and enjoyed the typically French training at FC Sochaux, which was designed for a technically clean game. Tried it in Germany, in 2017 as a nineteen-year-old at VfB Stuttgart, cost the Swabians 2.5 million euros at the time, but still failed. Had “high intensity” issues, as he puts it. He’s used to that now. If fit, then regular at RB, even tested in the Champions League. A total of 13 missions there.

Hrvoje Smolcic (21, central defender, HNK Rijeka, around 2.5 million euros): Experienced his farewell game in the league against twin brother Ivan of all places. Hrvoje triumphed, 1-0 with Rijeka against NK Hrvatski. Smolcics, both defenders, were the first football twins in the Croatian league, with Hrvoje being the better of them. At the age of 14, he moved from home, from Gospic to the port city, which is almost a two-hour drive away, and quickly established himself. Professional debut at 18, captain at 21. Already has 68 top division games under his belt, including five in the Europa League. Is an opinionated guy, according to brother Ivan also “stubborn”. His role model is roughneck Sergio Ramos, he likes to verbally take on opponents himself, is considered “fearless”, at least that’s what Bald colleague Kristijan Jakic, also Croatian, says. In Rijeka, Smolcic mostly played in the three-man defense on the left. Supposedly he can also play in a row of four on the left, but he has rarely done so so far. Sports director Krösche is “proud” to have convinced the U-21 national player of the Eintracht way. Five-year contract until 2027.

Marcel Wenig is moving from FC Bayern to Eintracht Frankfurt

Marcel Wenig (18, central midfield, FC Bayern, free transfer) : Born in Nuremberg, initially developed football at the club, he was given a special honor at the age of 13. Was one of the first young players to be allowed to move into the new Bayern campus. Stayed five years, learned from the likes of Hermann Gerland, Miro Klose and Martin Demichelis, played three times in the regional league for Bayern’s second team when he was 17, is a U-18 national player, tall (1.88 meters), seems more present than other talents, prefers to play eighth and feels “ready to take the next step”. Into men’s football. Should train with the pros, contract until 2025, could gain match practice in the Hessenliga reserve and the U19s, he still has one year of youth, and there the Uefa Youth League is waiting for Eintracht for the first time.


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