SC Freiburg have a reputation for signing players from under the radar and then turning them into fully functioning Bundesliga stars helping to keep the tiny Breisgau club in the German top division year on year. This summer saw the modest €4.5 million signing of attacking midfielder Daniel-Kofi Kyereh from St. Pauli and the 26-year-old is already proving a hit.
Kyereh was not exactly an unknown quantity in the 2.Bundesliga having scored twelve goals and added ten assists last season for Hamburg side St. Pauli, but the question was whether he could cut it in the Bundesliga. Based on the start he has made to the new season; the answer is a resounding yes!
“Kofi has an exceptional amount of creativity with the ball, is intelligent and goal oriented. These qualities will help us and do our game good,” board member Jochen Saier explained when signing Kyereh. “He is a player who has developed step by step over the past few years and has quickly adapted to each higher level. Kofi still has potential, and his game can be even more complete – we will work on that together.”
This season started slowly with the Ghanaian just a substitute for the first four matches before missing out against Bayer Leverkusen. Hungarian Roland Sallai’s kick in the eye from Jonathan Tah meant that Christian Streich needed a new attacking midfielder and turned to Kyereh. It’s a decision he hasn’t regretted.
He made his first Bundesliga start in the 0- draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach before scoring his first topflight goal on matchday 8 in the 2-1 win over Mainz. He added another goal in the Europa League against Nantes before scoring again against Hertha to make it three goals in three games.
“I am very satisfied with my development” the player explains. “That was what I set out to do: to get more playing time. I am glad and grateful that I am given the chance. It’s definitely fantastic. I wake up every morning and am happy that I am where I am.”
His form however will give coach Christian Streich a headache (bigger than the one Roland Sallai felt) when the Hungarian returns from his injury. He was playing well before the boot in the face, but on current form it is difficult to see how Kyereh can be dropped.