One in, one out at Nürnberg as Kempe returns to Darmstadt
Tobias Kempe completes his return to Darmstadt. | Photo: SV Darmstadt 98.

One in, one out at Nürnberg as Kempe returns to Darmstadt

The 28-year-old is back with the Lillies after just one season, but Der Club have been able to sign Slovak striker Adam Zrelak.

twistedkites
James Rees

Tobias Kempe has returned to SV Darmstadt 98 after just one season with 1. FC Nürnberg, with the 28-year-old signing a three-year deal with his former club.

However Der Club also signed a player on Friday, with Slovakia Under-21 captain Adam Zrelak joining from Czech side FK Jablonec. No details about the transfer fee or his contract have been revealed.

Kempe and Darmstadt reunited after just one year

Kempe had previously played for Erzgebirge Aue, SC Paderborn 07 and Dynamo Dresden before he moved to Darmstadt for the first time in 2014.

The winger played a crucial role in their remarkable promotion to the Bundesliga that season, scoring four goals and creating seven in 24 appearances. He remained a regular in the following campaign, although he only had four assists to show for 31 appearances.

He moved to Nürnberg last summer, and it was not an unproductive spell there, with three goals and three assists in 26 matches, however he has now returned to the Lillies as Torsten Frings re-builds following their relegation.

“We are happy that with Tobias we could acquire an attacking variable player,” said Frings of their latest signing. He said that they “hope with his great experience and his strengths” that Darmstadt would be a much stronger team with him in.

Kempe is “absolutely delighted” to move “back home with my old love.” He added that he “cannot wait to begin working with the coaching staff” and his “old and new team mates.” He changes club just days after his brother, Dennis Kempe, swapped Karlsruher SC for Aue.

Zrelak looking to follow in footsteps of Mintal and Vittek

Nürnberg meanwhile have remained focused on building up their own squad, and will be hoping that striker Zrelak will be able to help fill their void left by Guido Burgstaller’s departure in January.

He scored 10 goals for in 41 league matches for Slovan Bratislava before moving to Jablonec last September. However injuries limited him to just five games, scoring two goals, both in the same game.

He did score plenty of goals for Slovakia at under-21 though, with 19 in 29 appearances, including in his final game at that level against Sweden in the recent UEFA European Under-21 Championship.

Andreas Bornemann, Sporting CEO at Nürnberg, said that Zrelak is “a robust and single-minded striker,” who he believes will “increase the possibilities in our attack.”

The 23-year-old himself noted that the club was well-known in his homeland as the former club of Slovaks Marek Mintal and Robert Vittek, and because of that he is “very happy” to move there. He added he wants to “find my way in the team as soon as possible” and “repay the trust put in me with good performances.”

Quotes via SV Darmstadt 98 and 1. FC Nürnberg.

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