Struggling 1. FC Köln have strengthened their attack for the second half of the campaign by bringing Simon Terodde back to the club from VfB Stuttgart.
Terodde, who has struggled to make an impact in the Bundesliga following Stuttgart’s promotion, has joined for a reported fee of €2 million and has signed a three-and-a-half year contract.
The Billy Goats also confirmed on Wednesday that interim coach Stefan Ruthenbeck would remain in charge until the end of the season.
Köln praying Terodde can find his 2. Bundesliga form for them
Köln will be hoping that Terodde, who was previously with the club between 2009 and 2012 but made only five league appearances, can repeat his impressive form in the 2. Bundesliga over the past three seasons. He scored 66 goals for both Stuttgart and VfL Bochum at that level, including 25 in each of the previous two campaigns.
He hasn’t had the same impact in the Bundesliga though. He had just two goals in 15 appearances, with the likes of Daniel Ginczek, Takuma Asano and Anastasios Donis often preferred up top by Hannes Wolf for die Roten.
His new club, who are adrift at the bottom of the Bundesliga, will be hoping he can help them improve on the 10 goals they have scored so far this season. Recently-installed General Manager Armin Veh said that Terodde “is physically strong” and that he had “proven over the years that he is clinical in front of goal.”
The 29-year-old, who will wear the number nine, said he is “really happy to return” to the club where he made his “first step as a professional footballer.” He admitted that the team have “a difficult challenge awaiting us in the second half of the season” but he believes that they will “do everything we can in order” to remain in the top flight.
Ruthenbeck earns trust of club for the tough challenge ahead
Ruthenbeck, the former coach at VfR Aalen and SpVgg Greuther Fürth, was parachuted in by the Billy Goats to lead the first team following the departure of Peter Stöger, having been in charge of the club’s under-19 side since the start of the season.
The club have lost four of his five games in charge, but crucially picked up their first Bundesliga win of the season against VfL Wolfsburg last weekend. They clearly feel he has done enough to improve performances, whilst given their desperateness of their situation – they remain 11 points clear of safety going into the international break – they may have struggled to bring someone else in.
Veh said that Ruthenbeck, along with his assistants that include former Effzeh player Kevin McKenna, had done enough “to convince me with their work so far.” He explained that they had “done well to prepare the team, find the right words and provide solutions during a difficult situation.”
Ruthenbeck, who was born in Cologne, said that “to be given the trust to do my job here makes me proud as a local,” and also called it “a tremendous chance as a coach.” He that he and his staff “will do everything in our power to approach the next 17 league matches as if they were finals and,” he added, “to keep the dream alive of remaining in the Bundesliga.”
They return to league action after the short winter break against bitter rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach on the 14th January.
Quotes via 1. FC Köln.