Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Who is he? Where does he play?

Ich bien ein das YoungStarrSpotter! We're starting this one off with a douse of amateur German  as we head off to Eintracht Frankfurt, with nowhere more-German sounding than that place, to find 22 year old defensive midfielder Rode.

Quit with the language lesson, get on with it...

I will do, since moving from Kickers Offenbach in 2010, Rode has made 55 appearances for the Eagles, emerging as yet another fantastic young German talent *sigh* making his way in the Bundesliga. Like Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze, Marco Reus et al. he has recently broken into the German under-21 squad and could be joining those players on the club scene as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich have both been reportedly interested in his services.

German product stays in Germany... boring...

Ah well, there could be a twist in the story as the Sun have claimed Arsene Wenger is looking to spend some of his gigantic profits on the well-rounded midfielder who can maraud forward just as comfortably as he can patrol the deep areas of midfield. To bring the midfielder to Arsenal, Wenger is believed to be willing to spend £7.5 million and with Rode's contract due to expire next summer, Frankfurt are resigned to selling their prodigy. Rode has also previously rolled out the seemingly popular quote of "jumping at the chance to play in the Premier League" which may also run in Arsenal's favor.

So what can he offer Arsenal?

Intelligent passing and clever runs forward, which may sound like another Mikel Arteta or Santi Cazorla with whom Wenger has already swelled his technique-heavy midfield, but he has an impressive positional sense and his 22 appearances in the Bundesliga this term have yielded an average of 3 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game. As well as protecting the back four alongside club captain Permin Schwegler, he can also launch attacks with an admirable passing completion rate of 84%. His energy and dynamism in bursting forward can link the midfield and attack too, which is increasingly important in the modern game.

£7 million is beginning to feel a little cheap...

It is actually, he has been an ever-present in Frankfurt's league campaign so far and has consistently produced impressive performances as a ball-winner who, with a small frame of 5ft 10, can spring away from the attentions of opposing midfielders to burst into advanced positions and supply attackers. His job is primarily based on keeping the midfield in shape, as can be seen in the video below.

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