With just over a week to go until the start of the season, there were two bits of good news for SV Darmstadt 98 fans on Thursday.
They have completed the signing of Artur Sobiech, who had been a free agent after leaving Hannover 96, with the striker signing a two-year deal.
Meanwhile Hamit Altintop, who joined the Lilles on a short-term contract last January, has committed to the club for the next year.
A new club after six years for Sobiech
Sobiech left Hannover this summer after six years. He had joined the 96ers in 2011 from Polonia Warsaw, having also previously played for Ruch Chorzow.
The 27-year-old Pole scored 18 goals in 98 Bundesliga appearances for Hannover between 2011 and 2016, however he struck just twice in the 2. Bundesliga for them last season, and struggled to regain his place in the team after a knee injury sustained in November.
Speaking as his signing was confirmed, Darmstadt coach Torsten Frings said that Sobiech had “already demonstrated his qualities in both of Germany’s top leagues,” and that the club were naturally “very happy” to have signed him.
Sobiech likewise is pleased to have made the move, saying that he had had “very good discussions with the club” and that he is “looking forward” to the coming season.
Values and Frings keep Altintop with Lillies
Arguably though Darmstadt have made an even bigger coup by convincing Altintop to remain with the club, with Frings they were “incredibly happy and proud” to retain his services.
The former Schalke 04, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid midfielder joined the club on deadline day in January following his departure from Galatasaray SK. He played in all 16 games the team played following his arrival, but was powerless to prevent their slip into the second tier.
Nevertheless, Frings feels that he proved his ability to “carry a team” with his performances last year, and that “with his experience, skill and personality,” he is sure to be a key player for them going forward.
Altintop meanwhile says that “I have always appreciated the values and the family” of the club, but also that “Torsten is a big reason” why he has decided to stay put.
Quotes via SV Darmstadt 98.