But the Serb is not the first eagle-bearer player who first flew out to find his luck again at Eintracht. DFB goalkeeper Kevin Trapp left the club after three successful seasons in the summer of 2015 for Paris Saint-Germain. Sebastian Rode first went to FC Bayern in 2014 and then to Borussia Dortmund two years later. The class of the two only flourished briefly at their new clubs. Hardly back in the Main metropolis, the two delivered again.
The list could be made longer if you look back at the pre-Bobic era. At the beginning of the millennium, Albert Streit or Jermaine Jones should be mentioned. Eintracht icon Marco Russ, who ended his career before this season, later returned to top form after a stint at VfL Wolfsburg (2011 to 2013) at his ex-club.
The youngest returnees have one thing in common. They create a high mood: in the team, in the club, with the fans. best example is the performance explosion of Filip Kostic. The 28-year-old experienced a dip in performance after having been the focal point of the Frankfurt offensive in the previous two seasons. The arrival of his Serbian compatriot Jovic also drove the lightning-fast winger back to top performances.
In the first Jovic game against Schalke (3: 1) Kostic prepared both goals for his national team colleague, a week later at 5: 1 at Arminia Bielefeld he scored once and was directly or indirectly involved in all four other goals. Jovic joked at a press conference on Tuesday that his buddy could smile again – “Maybe that has something to do with my return.”
It cannot be ruled out that the euphoria at Eintracht will continue beyond the summer. Trapp and Rode came in the summer of 2018 as reservists from top clubs, also first on loan and then stayed in their old home. But one thing is clear: Jovic’s (albeit reduced) salary for another season – or even a transfer fee in the tens of millions for a commitment – would pose financial problems for the Frankfurters. Bobic had recently stated that the laboriously built-up reserves of the past few years had almost been used up due to Corona (lack of spectator income, decline in revenue from stadium marketing).
A decisive step in order to be able to plan more ambitiously would be the qualification for international business. This year Frankfurt is even a serious Champions League candidate. Borussia Dortmund is weak, other top teams are definitely good for mistakes. André Silva, with 14 goals next to Erling Haaland, second-best league goalscorer behind world footballer Robert Lewandowski, had already formulated the premier class as an achievable goal in autumn. Striker colleague Jovic recently hit the same line. Before the game against Hertha BSC, Frankfurt is sixth (30 points), within striking distance of VfL Wolfsburg (32).
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All Frankfurt returnees are currently doing a lot on the pitch to ensure that the big dream could come true: Trapp often holds outstanding, Rode always leads – and Jovic reliably hits the mark. Just like Eintracht boss Bobic with his feeling for return actions.