It is official! We have no striker!
Well what we all worried would happen has happened. Our tenuous grasp on Anthony Modeste has finally given way and the team has, according to KICKER and then confirmed by BILD, accepted a bid, from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, for our star striker, Anthony Modeste. The fee is said to be between €35-€40 million and Modeste stands to take home around €10 million a season for the next three years.
It is easy to say that this move is good for the Billy Goats, after all, we are receiving a club record fee for a player, and are set to make a large profit on a player that we only had on the books for two seasons. But we should not be looking at this as a net positive, this is a loss and one that we can not afford to be taking right now.
Köln is an upwardly mobile team, that is about to enter a season with competition on multiple fronts for the first time in a quarter century. And has already been very well established, the Europa League is a team killer; with the Thursday night games, coupled with potential great travel requirements, the competition is known to exhaust even the deepest squads. This is a major issue for Köln because depth is not a strong point for the club, particularly at the forward position. Anthony Modeste was the only pure striker on the roster and last year his 25 league goals accounted for 49% of all Bundesliga goals scored by the Billy Goats. So even though €40 million sounds like a lot of money to go get a striker, we essentially need to get two solid strikers, in addition to the necessary depth at other positions.
Interesting side note to this all: Modeste is the second straight Köln striker to end up in the Far East, after Anthony Ujah made a move to the cash rich league following his short spell at Bremen.
So what is next for Köln? We have to move on, go out there and sign some exciting players and attempt to continue to build this team into one that can consistently compete for European spots and hopefully in time Budesliga titles. And if Modeste want to waste the rest of his career in a sub par and utterly irrelevant league, we are better off long-term getting rid of him but in the short-term his decision to seek a pay-day instead of meaningful football is one that will deeply hurt our team’s ability to compete at the highest level.