Claudio Pizarro makes Bundesliga return with Köln
Jörg Schmadtke and Claudio Pizarro. | Photo: 1. FC Köln.

Goal-shy 1. FC Köln have moved to strengthen their attack by signing striker Claudio Pizarro on a free transfer.

The Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich legend has signed a deal with the Billy Goats until the end of the season.

Much needed boost for struggling attacking?

Following the departure of Anthony Modeste, who scored 25 goals for Köln last season, to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, Peter Stöger’s side have struggled immensely. They have just one point in the Bundesliga, with just one goal, scored by Frederik Sörensen in the defeat to Hamburger SV.

Jhon Córdoba, the man assigned with the task of replacing Modeste, has only scored in the DFB-Pokal thrashing of Leher TS and against Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League, with other strikers Yuya Osaka and Sehrou Guirassy unable to contribute either. Meanwhile it was also announced on Friday that Artjoms Rudnevs had left the club and retired from football due to personal reasons.

As a result they’ve turned to the man with the most goals in the Bundesliga by a foreign player, having scored 191 times for Bremen and Bayern. Last season though Pizarro only struck once for Bremen, against Bayer Leverkusen, and the 38-year-old’s third spell at the Weserstadion came to an end as his contract was no renewed at the end of the campaign.

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Pizarro hoping to help Córdoba

Speaking at Pizarro’s unveiling, Managing Director Jörg Schmadtke said that the club believed they were “gaining some experience in our squad” and putting “our current strikers under less pressure” by bringing him to the club. He added that Pizarro had made it clear that “he is someone that still enjoys football and is ready to take on the challenge with FC.”

Head Coach Stöger meanwhile added that he felt that Pizarro could have already contributed several goals to the club’s cause this season. “He has plenty of experience so I think he will help the other players as well,” he said.

Pizarro explained that he always intended to continue playing in the Bundesliga, and that “once I heard of the interest from Köln, I decide right away” to join them. The Peruvian also feels he can help Colombian striker Córdoba, who he described as “a very good player.” He hopes his experience “can help him score some goals,” and that “it should help that I can speak to him in Spanish.”

Pizarro, who has been given the number 39 shirt, is likely to play some part for Köln in the next game, against RB Leipzig on Sunday.

Quotes via 1. FC Köln.