With Max Kruse not exactly short on suitors after looking to return to the Bundesliga, it is safe to say the 32-year-old has opted for the most interesting option with the announcement that he is to join Union Berlin.
The former German international has signed on a free transfer with die Eisernen after cancelling his contract with Turkish side Fenerbahce. The Istanbul club had failed to pay Kruse’s wages leading to the striker walking away after scoring seven goals in his twenty Super Lig appearances.
Kruse only moved to Turkey last summer after leaving Werder Bremen and it had been widely speculated that a return to the Weser Stadion could be on the cards, with Schalke also linked with the former Borussia Mönchengladbach and Wolfsburg goal getter.
“With Max Kruse, we were able to sign a player who has proven his quality for years both nationally and internationally,” said Union’s sporting director Oliver Ruhnert. “With his offensive qualities and Bundesliga experience, he will help us achieve our goals in the new season.”
With Sebastian Andersson expected to leave the club this summer, Union were in need of a source of goals after finishing their debut Bundesliga season in a highly respectable 11th place. Kruse has scored 74 Bundesliga goals across 250 appearances and saw the German capital as his preferred destination (albeit Union not Hertha).
“I’m happy to be playing in the Bundesliga again and to get to know a cool new club like Union, who have developed really well in recent years, “Kruse said. “It was important for me to switch to a club that completely convinces and challenges me. During the conversations with those responsible at Union I immediately felt comfortable, that’s why I decided to join Union.”
Kruse has always good for a headline, be it for leaving €75,000 of poker winnings in the back of a taxi, overdoing it with the Nutella or singing on Turkey’s version of ‘The Voice’. Union trainer Urs Fischer will be hoping that the headlines are made on the pitch next season and that Kruse’s goals are the reason.
If you had told the average Union Berlin fan a couple of years ago that they would be in the Bundesliga signing Max Kruse after finishing above Schalke in the league, they may have thought you had escaped from a secure unit.
But that is the reality for the minnows from the Alten Försterei, and as has been said so often of late, we live in interesting times. Those times just got a whole lot more interesting with Max Kruse rocking up in Köpenick.