The transfer window closed Monday with the 1. FC Köln doing precisely what clubs comfortable with their roster tend to do while players and money make last-minute changes of venue: stay out of it.
Though, Slawomir Peszko was not as comfortable with his prospects in the crowded Köln midfield, particularly as he continues to entertain hopes of playing for Poland in next summer’s European championships.
In Peszko’s second stint with the club, his relevance in the midfield picture continually waned. Upon his return from Wolverhampton for the 2013-14 2. Bundesliga campaign, he racked up over 1,100 minutes in 24 appearances, mostly as a substitute. Last year, he managed to still log over 990 minutes, despite a drop in the number of appearances to 18.
Likely in the hopes of gaining favor with coach Peter Stöger, Peszko had said a few weeks ago he preferred to stay in Köln to fight for playing time, rather than seek a transfer somewhere he’d have an easier time getting it, but as the season started strongly without being selected even for the bench, the 30-year-old had to reconsider what was best for his national-team aspirations.
Additionally, it appeared increasingly less likely the winger’s contract, which was set to expire next summer, had any hope of being extended.
After discussions with club authorities, Peszko was sent to Polish first-division side Lechia Gdańsk where he will hope to earn significant playing time to keep himself in the picture for Poland, which currently leads its group halfway through qualification.
“Slawomir Peszko came to us about going to Danzig to take on the next challenge in his professional career,” said Jörg Schmadtke with regard to the move. “It was a wish that we decided to grant after constructive talks with all involved parties.”
On his Facebook page, Peszko sent a final, personal goodbye to effzeh fans.
THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!
Hello fans. Thank you for everything, your support even in difficult times. We have experienced a lot together, and I must regrettably leave, so that I can have a chance for the EM. It’s important to me that you all know: I will never forget my time here and wish the entire team all the best. The FC is heading in a good direction. You deserve only the best. Yours, Slawomir Peszko
And, with that, all of us here at Planet Effzeh certainly wish Slawa the best of luck with his new club and in his national-team career (though, perhaps not at the expense of Germany).