Where once Kevin-Prince Boateng reigned in the Main metropole helping the Adler to their DFB Pokal triumph in 2018, there is a new prince in town hoping to fire the goals that propel Eintracht Frankfurt to further glory.
Frankfurt-born Ragnar Prince Friedel Ache is Adi Hütter’s solitary summer signing so far and will provide competition in the attacking department for the likes of Bast Dost, André Silva, Goncalo Paciencia and Dejan Joveljic. The 22-year-old arrives from Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam for €2 million.
The striker was born in Frankfurt and grew up in Neu-Isenburg before settling in the Netherlands with his mother and sister aged 10. He started out in Sparta’s youth team before progressing through the U-17 and U-19 sides to the Rotterdam first team in the Eredivisie.
The German U-21 international (capped once with one goal v Belgium) scored five goals and provided three assists in eleven appearances the Dutch league last season, although his playing time was disrupted by a hamstring injury.
While Ache is first and foremost going to play a back-up role and will be (at best) fourth in line for a starting berth, he certainly has the ability and potential to breakthrough at the Commerzbank Arena. He has good pace, quick feet and is very good in the air- despite his slim frame. He could be utilised as either a target man or a penalty box poacher meaning he could deputise for both Dost and Silva. He shows a great understanding of space and provides good crosses from wide so he could even be used in a wider role in attack.
“I’m coming home” he said this week. “I still remember a few people from my time in Neu-Isenburg. During my time in Rotterdam I watched Eintracht on TV and followed them on social media. I’ve always been an Eintracht fan.
“The way Frankfurt play is similar to that of Sparta Rotterdam. In general, the Dutch love to play football. Positional play has been a focus of mine from an early age.”
Speaking back in January when Frankfurt announced the signing before allowing the player to see the season out in Holland, sporting director Fredi Bobic said, “The fact that a player has already publicly recognized Eintracht and his hometown in the past is certainly not common and speaks for the player’s identification with our goals.
“Ragnar will further expand our options in attack and thus make us more flexible. He has all the facilities to play a good role with us in the future. We offer him all the opportunities and time he needs to get used to the Bundesliga level.”
He won’t be living with his aunty and uncle, and as far as I’m aware he’s not moving because a couple of guys started causing trouble in his neighbourhood, but Frankfurt’s new Fresh Prince is ready to prove himself back home.