Union Berlin striker Max Kruse has left the club and rejoined his former side Wolfsburg. The departure will be a bitter blow for Urs Fischer and his side as the forward has been one of Die Eisernen’s most influential players since his arrival in 2020.
Max Kruse Leaves Union Berlin to Rejoin Wolfsburg
There has been no denying the class that Max Kruse has brought to Union Berlin. The former Germany international arrived at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei in August 2020 from Fenerbache and would make an immediate impact on the club.
Signed after Union’s maiden Bundesliga campaign, Kruse added some vital experience and top-flight awareness to help the club in their second season, finishing in a mightily impressive seventh place, thus qualifying for the UEFA Europa Conference League.
On the pitch, Kruse netted 11 goals in 22 Bundesliga outings in his first season, along with a further five assists. His late header against RB Leipzig secured a seventh-place finish for Union and European qualification.
This season, the 33-year-old continued his rich vein of form in front of goal with nine strikes in all competitions. He leaves the club having scored 19 times in 45 appearances.
Max Kruse Returns to Wolfsburg
Kruse is no stranger to the Volkswagen Arena, having played the 2015/16 season with the club.
The striker netted nine times from 43 appearances as Die Wölfe won the DFL-Supercup, along with reaching the quarter-final of the Champions League.
But now, after informing Union of his desire to leave following an approach from his former club, Kruse has returned to his old stomping ground.
What Was Said
Speaking to the club’s official website, Kruse said: “To everybody from the club that I’m leaving: I came to Berlin one-and-a-half years ago because I wanted to join this club – 1. FC Union Berlin.
“Hardly anyone understood or believed that when I moved here. I have always given everything I can here and I’m also very proud and happy where we are now in the table. I thank you all for your trust in me, and now I ask for your understanding for my decision to accept an offer that is long-term and well remunerated.
“In addition, it’s about a club where I still have a chapter open that I can now write to an end. No decision is easy and I know what is ahead of me now, but that’s my decision. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for all Union players and I’m sure the team will finish the season successfully.”
Oliver Ruhnert, the club’s Managing Director for Professional Football, added: “Max Kruse has found his way back to the Bundesliga via Union and helped us a lot with his experience.
“His departure hits us unexpectedly and it will be a demanding task to compensate for this loss in sporting terms. However, he really wanted to make this change now, so we have come to an agreement with VfL Wolfsburg.
“We thank Max for his achievements in Union colours and wish him all the best, both professionally and privately.”
Union Berlin president Dirk Zingler continued: “The most successful sporting and economically valuable phase in our club’s history is also thanks to Max Kruse, along with many players, coaches and staff who we will not forget.
“However, if he now intentionally decides against the opportunity to make further history with Union, we accept that.
“The task of the 1. FC Union Berlin executive committee is to safeguard the interests of this club. For all transfers, we do this in consultation with the Managing Director for Professional Football and the Head Coach.
“We have mutually agreed to the decision not to foe Max to stay against his will, but to have the sporting loss adequately compensated financially.”