Even though he wasn’t involved in the matchday squad for VfL Wolfsburg’s first win of the season against Eintracht Frankfurt, Max Kruse was still a headline maker. Coach Nico Kovac revealed after the match that Kruse will not be considered anymore and as far as he is concerned is done with club.
The joy and relief of the first victory of the season was obvious on Nico Kovac’s face at the post-match press conference at Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon, but it wasn’t all praise and platitudes from the Wölfe head coach as he unexpectedly announced the end of the road for Max Kruse at the club.
Having started against both RB Leipzig and Köln recently, Kruse’s absence from the squad was a surprise, but Nico Kovac’s answer after the match when asked about the omission was even more of a surprise making it clear this was not a temporary thing.
“We demand one hundred percent identification and commitment from every player with a focus on VfL” Kovac told Sky Germany. “We didn’t have that feeling with Max.”
When challenged if this meant a permanent exclusion, Kovac responded in the affirmative saying only “yes.” Asked if Kruse would be considered in the future, he answered with an equally curt “no.”
“As a coach, it’s my responsibility to help the team” he went on. “We’ve seen no impetus from Max that he can help the team. It didn’t work out, and the club is just above everything. That’s why Marcel Schäfer, Jörg Schmadtke and I made this decision.”
And that is that. Max Kruse and VfL Wolfsburg are no more.
It will come as little surprise to many with Kruse’s career seemingly on the wane following his return from Turkey. He left few friends at Union Berlin after leaving them suddenly last January to join Wolfsburg. He grabbed a few headlines during the transfer window by openly complaining about his lack of game time under Kovac.
On his Twitch channel, Kruse stated that, “There is no contact with any clubs at the moment, but we must also be honest: It is very clear that I am not satisfied with my role. That’s why I can’t give a guarantee for anything.”
It would seem likely that it is not just his time at Wolfsburg that has ended, but in fact his Bundesliga career. At 34-years-old he probably has some years left, but it will in all likelihood be abroad in MLS perhaps or a lesser European league.