In what was arguably a foregone conclusion for the previous 4-5 months or so, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Rode has officially joined Eintracht Frankfurt, signing a 5 year contract with the club that he played his best football for.
The fee is expected to be in the range of $4 million.
A knee injury suffered in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final vs Chelsea last May cast a shadow over a potential move, but given Rode’s ties to Frankfurt, and the fact that Dortmund looked to have all but moved on from him as far back as last summer, it was only a matter of time until a deal was worked out between the two clubs.
Rode’s career has never been the same since he left Frankfurt for Bayern Munich on a free transfer in the summer of 2014. A mainstay under Armin Veh during the manager’s initial 3 years in charge of Die Adler, Rode chose to follow the path tread by countless other young German players and moved to a bigger club in the hopes of trophies and playing time on the biggest stages.
While he accomplished the former, the latter proved to be decidedly hard to come by for Rode, first in Munich, and then in Dortmund.
In two seasons in Munich, Rode won two Bundesliga titles and a DfB-Pokal title, but was used mainly as a substitute, unable to break into the crowded Bayern midfield on a consistent basis.
This was the impetus behind his move to Dortmund in summer 2016 for just over $13 million, but like many other transfer purchases of that summer window, Rode would ultimately not find success in Dortmund.
Initial good form in his first matches was quickly overrun by inconsistent play, relegating him once again to the bench in what was for Dortmund a chaotic season, although Rode did lift the pot for the second time.
Then the injuries piled up.
After missing most of the second half of the 2016-17 season, Rode suffered a catastrophic leg injury in the summer of 2017, leading him to make no appearances in the 2017-18 Bundesliga. By the time he recovered the following summer, Dortmund had seemingly moved on from the injury riddled midfielder, and it was quite clear that Rode would be departing Dortmund as soon as a taker was found.
As it turned out, that taker was Rode’s old club in Frankfurt. A successful loan period last Spring, in which Rode played a prominent role in a Frankfurt squad that was in the thick of the Champions League fight, along with the aforementioned Europa League success, indicated that Rode had finally found the best place for him to play.
We wish him good luck in the future.