Gacinovic arrives, Zuber departs

Bundesliga club TSG Hoffenheim have strengthened their ranks by signing the Serbia international Mijat Gacinovic from Eintracht Frankfurt. The 25-year-old midfielder has signed a contract that will keep him in the Kraichgau until 30 June 2024. Steven Zuber, 28, will move in the other direction and join the Hessian outfit from TSG. Zuber had a contract in Hoffenheim that was set to run until summer 2023.

"A bit of melancholy on the one hand, but a great deal of excitement on the other," was the reaction of TSG director of football Alexander Rosen to the swap deal, which is a rarity in the Bundesliga. "We're losing a real constant in our squad, but gaining a highly exciting player with a profile we haven't recently had," Rosen explained. Both he and head coach Sebastian Hoeneß are excited to have signed a "versatile, technical, strong and fast midfielder who gives us many options with his skills both on the ball and when pressing or counter-pressing," praised Rosen.

Mijat Gacinovic joined Eintracht Frankfurt in August 2015 and made a total of 116 Bundesliga appearances for the Eagles, scoring three goals. The 25-year-old attacking player particularly stood out in three defining matches for Eintracht. He notched a goal and an assist in the relegation/promotion play-off games against 1 FC Nuremberg at the end of the 2015/16 season, as the Eagles succeeded in keeping their place in the top flight. And his sprint in the 2018 DFB Cup final against FC Bayern Munich, which he rounded off by sealing a 3-1 victory in the sixth minute of stoppage time, will not be forgotten either. After five years in Frankfurt, Gacinovic is looking forward to "a new challenge with a club whose style of play is a perfect match for my abilities".

In addition, Gacinovic made 14 DFB Cup and 19 Europa League appearances for the Hessian outfit. At international level, he made a total of 36 appearances for Serbia in various youth categories before being promoted to the first-team squad. He now has 18 caps and two goals for his country at senior level.

Steven Zuber leaves TSG after six years in which he made 96 Bundesliga appearances for TSG Hoffenheim, scoring nine goals. The Swiss international spent the second half of the 2018/19 campaign on loan at VfB Stuttgart. Following his departure from the club, Alexander Rosen praised not only Steven Zuber's sporting qualities and versatility but also "his outstanding and exemplary attitude, which he showed day-in day-out on and off the pitch. Steven has left his mark on us and will not only be remembered as a footballer but as a person too." His desire to move on must be viewed with this in mind. "Ultimately, with us Steven was no longer playing the offensive role in which he sees himself," explained Rosen. Zuber's big goal is to participate in next year's European Championship and he is now hoping to strengthen his case in Frankfurt. Besides his Bundesliga appearances, the 28-year-old made five Champions League appearances (one goal), four in the Europa League and 10 in the DFB Cup for TSG. He has represented Switzerland 23 times, scoring six goals in the process.

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