Brighton & Hove Albion defender Uwe Hünemeier has agreed to rejoin SC Paderborn on a two-year deal this summer.
The German international's contract with the Seagulls is expiring this summer and he has agreed to return to the Bundesliga 2 outfit after helping them to promotion to the Bundesliga in his first stint at the club.
Hünemeier was rarely used in the Premier League by manager Chris Hughton, however, he played a key role in the Seagulls' extended run in the FA Cup and made appearances in the Carabao Cup as well.
Hughton pays tribute to Hünemeier's efforts for Brighton
Brighton boss Hughton spoke of Hünemeier in glowing terms and acknowledged his valuable contributions to the Albion's promotion-campaign last season from the Championship.
Hughton hailed Hünemeier as an "outstanding player and professional" and stated that the club is "very sorry" about his departure.
However, the boss also said that he understands the German's desire to play regular football.
He further reminded the press about Hünemeier's contributions to Brighton's promotion campaign in 2016-17.
He said,"He played a significant part in our promotion season, as well as the near miss a year earlier.
"Fans will know about his performances on the pitch, but what they may not be aware of is his consummate professionalism in training and his lifestyle."
Hünemeier's limited game time acknowledged by Hughton
Brighton have largely paired Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy at the back for a majority of the campaign, which made game time for Hünemeier quite difficult.
However, Hughton praised the defender's work ethic whenever he wasn't playing and expressed that he could trust him to perform when called upon.
Hughton said,"This season his chances have been limited, understandably, but he has still trained at an incredible level, alongside others in a similar position, and if needed, I know I’d have had no qualms about Uwe coming into the side - as he showed for the match against Everton."
Lastly, he wished Hünemeier a good future and thanked him personally and on behalf of the club for his services.
The boss Brighton hailed Hünemeier as a "legend" of the club for his invaluable efforts in their promotion campaign.