Once again striker Niclas Füllkrug has emerged from Germany’s latest set on international fixtures with his reputation enhanced. Two goals against Peru and one against Belgium has taken the Werder forward’s tally to six in six games for his country. There is a sense of pride at the Weserstadion, but are the Grün-Weißen in danger of losing their prized goalscorer?
Coming into the current Bundesliga season, the dual striker pairing of Niclas Füllkrug and Marvin Ducksch was seen as key the Werder keeping their place in the top-flight following promotion. The pair had scored 39 in the 2.Bundesliga and the hope was that they’d do the same in the top division.
That indeed has been the case with Füllkrug leading the Bundesliga scoring charts with 15 goals so far (Ducksch has added eight). Such has been ‘Lücke’ Füllkrug’s impact that there was a growing clamour for him to be included in Hansi Flick’s World Cup squad as a wildcard.
He did travel to Qatar and not just as a wildcard. He came on in all three of Germany’s group matches scoring the vital equaliser against Spain and also scoring in the win over Costa Rica.
The goals have been flying in all season both at club and international level and the question now is can Werder hold on to Füllkrug now that he has come to the world’s attention?
Last summer the striker extended his contract with Bremen until 2025, but with the proviso that his salary would drop from €2.5 million per year to €2 million in the second year. That’s right Füllkrug will be earning less next season on the back of his heroics in front of goal this season. Germany’s new number one striker will face a pay cut just as his star is rising on the international stage.
The 30-year-old will have plenty of suitors in the summer willing and able to pay him what he is worth- the key word here being ‘able’. Werder’s financial constraints means that they will not be able to compete with bigger clubs and with a current market value of €13 million he could be a steal for another club. The attraction of European football won’t be offered by Werder, which is another factor to consider.
“Of course, if you have such a striker, the goal is to keep him” explained Clemens Fritz, Head of scouting and professional football, Clemens Fritz this week. “I would be happy if he played for Werder Bremen again in the new season, but one has to take the economic side into account. First we want to achieve our sporting goals. After that we will certainly sit down and talk about certain things.”