Tschüß Jungs! Novakovic and Geromel Finally Find Homes?

Reports from “Kölner Express” make it appear as two of the most-popular players in recent FC Köln history are on their way to new grounds.

“Kölner Express” has Milivoje Novakovic open to the idea of joining Japanese team Omiya Ardija, where the Slovenian national would be playing for Slovenian manager.

Meanwhile, “Kicker” is reporting that Spanish first-division side Real Betis is working diligently to secure the services of Pedro Geromel.

Of course, neither departure should be of shock to anyone. The front office made it known that new coach Holger Stanislawski was to make do with youth, and that any player with enough experience to be paid like a top-tier player was likely to be sold by the end of summer.

Stani, for his part, was steadfast in repeating that there would be no place in the squad for players like Geromel, which left a few guys in a bit of limbo, as they weren’t to practice with the team, but had yet to be sold to a new club.

With a combined 10 years in the red and white, both players became well-regarded as top Bundesliga players in their respective positions. Nova, now 33, is maybe a bit too old to be considered an elite-level scoring threat, but with 44 goals in 108 games he certainly would have been among the most-prolific scorers playing in the second league.  Likewise, Geromel had risen to prominence as a top central defender, with only the team struggles of last year’s disaster of a squad under Stale Solbakken led to what appeared to be mass confusion among the back line, frequently resulting in numerous scoring chances for opponents and, ultimately, relegation.

Ultimately, it would seem the wise thing for any club relegated after a season such as the one Köln experienced in 2011/12 would be to get rid of the expensive pieces and rebuild through youth, while investing the money from the sale of more-accomplished players into future plans. Plenty of big-name talent has left already, with Podolski leading the way with the move to Arsenal. Michael Rensing and Slawa Peszko are two more regulars from last year’s club who’ve been told they’ll not be playing for the Billy Goats last year.

I’m just hoping when the smoke clears, there is a plan to achieve promotion soon and identify players who will help the club stay there.

Which is where they belong…

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