Andre Silva has reason to celebrate in almost every game
Torsten Silz / dpa
These days Eintracht Frankfurt has once again significantly strengthened the offensive department.
It's an old friend, a goalscorer from the past, someone who should help the club from now on.
The club announced that the former Bundesliga top scorer and ex-captain Alexander Meier will work as assistant coach of the Frankfurt U19s for the Hessen team.
At the same time, the club also brought back striker Luka Jovic.
Eintracht Frankfurt is, so to speak, the expert when it comes to return campaigns, the club has had very good experiences with it, with Kevin Trapp and Sebastian Rode two returnees are among the team's top performers.
That cannot be taken for granted, elsewhere such actions, which always have a dangerous dose of nostalgia, have gone wrong.
A special coup
However, Jovic's personality is a special coup.
Manager Fredi Bobic, who has already developed a certain talent with unusual, one could also say creative contract structures to win players for Eintracht, managed to persuade the young Serbian to return on loan after one and a half fruitless years at Real Madrid.
In his first game, the 23-year-old scored two goals after his substitution against Schalke.
Head coach Adi Hütter and his homecomer Luka Jovic
Photo: Arne Dedert / dpa
For the team and their coach Adi Hütter, Jovic's access has once again significantly enriched the options on the offensive, so far the team had to rely on the accuracy of striker Andre Silva.
Although there was actually little to complain about in this regard.
As a sole entertainer, Silva is a guarantee this season: twelve goals in 16 first round games and thus as many as in the entire previous season.
In Eintracht's long Bundesliga history, there were only two players who scored even better at this point in the season.
Ten years ago it was the Greek Theofanis Gekas, who had 14 goals on the 16th matchday.
In the 2014/2015 season, the goalgetter with 13 goals was, of course, Alexander Meier.
"André is a top professional," Bobic told SPIEGEL.
"He is technically incredibly strong and has a very good degree,"
Silva, 25 years old, has already had a few years of apprenticeship and traveling.
He was worth 38 million euros to AC Milan in 2017 when the club signed him from FC Porto.
At that time, Silva was ennobled by Cristiano Ronaldo, who touted him as one of his successors in the Portuguese team, he should not necessarily have reduced the transfer fee.
In cold blood from the penalty spot
In Milan he was nevertheless or perhaps not because of it happy, the pressure of expectation on the player was enormous, the Milan squad was unbalanced during this time.
Silva remained pale in his appearances in Serie A and was loaned to Sevilla FC after just one year.
It is precisely such candidates in such situations that Bobic begins to take a closer look.
Because Eintracht cannot pay large transfer fees, he first developed a loan model for Silva: And a player who is actually too coveted and too good for Eintracht Frankfurt got into the Bundesliga in this way.
“Maybe he can handle clear scoring chances even better and thus become even more effective.
But we're talking about a very high level here. "
Trainer Adi Hütter on Adnré Silva
"Physically in very good shape, always playable and particularly dangerous in the penalty area," says coach Hütter of Silva.
Maybe the header game, says Bobic.
And Hütter also thinks of something: “Maybe he can handle clear scoring chances even better and thus become even more effective.
But we're talking about a very high level here, ”the coach told SPIEGEL.
The fact that he scored almost half of his goals this season with a penalty does not at all diminish the quality of the striker, says Hütter.
On the contrary: The fact that he is "a cold-blooded and sure-footed penalty taker" is an explicit strength.
In this regard, Hütter is reminded of Robert Lewandowski.
Thanks to Silva's hits, Eintracht has now made it to seventh place, in close contact with the European ranks of the table.
In the evening there will be a duel with SC Freiburg (8.30 p.m. / live ticker SPIEGEL.de; TV: Sky).
And one of the special features of this Bundesliga season is that this is the meeting of the two most successful teams of the past seven game days.
If you were to create a table for game days ten to 16, Freiburg would be in first place with 16 points, Frankfurt directly behind with 14 points.
Eintracht lost only two of 16 games, against Bayern and Wolfsburg.
Only two defeats, so you're on par with Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.
In top form at 36
It's an interesting team that Hütter and Bobic have built, with Silva on the front line, followed by Amin Younes, who was released from SSC Napoli, on loan of course.
Younes is also an almost classic Bobic transfer.
With Filip Kostic, Daichi Kamada and Aymane Barkok, who was born in Frankfurt, Hütter also has players with a street kicker mentality.
The slightly rowdy Martin Hinteregger clears up the defense.
In addition, the Japanese Makoto Hasebe is in the best shape of his career at 36.
Eintracht is the oldest team in the league, with 13 players in the first half of the season who are 27 or older.
With the departure of the 34-year-old captain David Abraham and the 31-year-old Bas Dost and the arrival of the 23-year-old Luka Jovic, the team has now become radically younger.
The level-headed coach, the bustling sports director, an interesting squad, with Peter Fischer a president who also likes to pull out a slogan in his shirt-sleeve, against the AfD and pro fan culture, there have been more boring times at Riederwald.
Frankfurt is an eventful city, a type of a city, so to speak, heterogeneous, lively, a little bit glittering, a little bit dirty, pretty cool in any case.
It seems like this city has the right team right now.
Icon: The mirror