Freiburg sign Bartosz Kapustka and learn Europa League draw
Photo: SC Freiburg.

SC Freiburg have announced that they have signed Bartosz Kapustka on loan from Leicester City.

The Polish international will spend the next twelve months in Germany after a difficult first season with the 2016 English champions. Freiburg will have an option to buy him outright at the end of the season.

Also on Friday, the club learned their fate in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round draw. They will face either Valur Reykjavík of Iceland or Slovenian side Domžale.

Kapustka looking to bounce back

After impressing for Poland in UEFA Euro 2016, Leicester snapped up the now 20-year-old Kapustka from KS Cracovia last summer last August.

However he failed to make a single appearance in the Premier League for the Foxes, with doubts expressed over whether he was ready to play at that level. He did though make three FA Cup appearances, as well as 11 matches for the club’s under-23 side.

Having been fast-tracked to the senior Poland side, for whom he has 14 caps, he made his under-21 debut only in March ahead of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in his own country. However he only played in the first match against Slovakia, owing to injury.

He now has the opportunity to put a difficult season behind him with Freiburg. He feels that playing in the Bundesliga is “a great challenge” for him, and that his new club “has a great reputation.”

Meanwhile Freiburg CEO Jochen Saier believes that Kapustka is “technically very sound and has a great feel for the game for someone of his age.” He said that the club’s priority now was to “gets [his] talents back onto the pitch.”

Trip to Iceland or Slovenia awaits Freiburg

He may not have to wait long to make his debut. Freiburg found out earlier on Friday who they will play as they embark on their fourth-ever European campaign, earned after finishing seventh in the Bundesliga last season.

In the third qualifying round of the Europa League they will play either Valur or Domžale, with the latter winning the first leg between the two sides 2-1 on Thursday evening. They meet again in Slovenia next week. Freiburg host the winners the following Thursday, with the return leg seven days further on.

Sports director Klemens Hartenbach, who was at the draw with club president Fritz Keller, said that Domžale were amongst the top clubs in Slovenia, having won the cup their last season. He added that they played “technically really good football,” and that Freiburg had previous taken young players from the club on trial.

He had less to say on Valur, but spoke on Icelandic football in general. He feels that it “puts more emphasis on physique” but there had been “a lot of progress” in recent years, not least the national team’s performance in France last summer. Valur also won their domestic cup last year, and are currently ahead of Grindavík on goal difference at the top of their domestic league.

Quotes via SC Freiburg.