Bundesliga News

This time around, Gregoritsch signs on for Freiburg

By Jonathan Dicks   @Jonathan_Dicks

Having been swapped for Ermedin Demirović, Michael Gregoritsch is finally a Freiburg player after opting for FC Augsburg in 2017.
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Back in 2017, Michael Gregoritsch was faced with a difficult decision; FC Augsburg, or SC Freiburg. In the end, Gregoritsch snubbed Freiburg for Augsburg at the very last minute. He stated in an interview with Kicker that, "I was in Freiburg for talks, and actually I was sure to go to SC afterwards...I only went to Augsburg out of courtesy. But suddenly there was a different gut feeling. I was unsure and thought it might be too big of a step after all."

Gregoritsch understandably added during his visits in 2017 that, "It had rained in Freiburg, while the sun was shining in Augsburg. I looked again at Google Maps. Eight hours from Freiburg to my home, four hours from Augsburg." Gregoritsch doesn't regret his decision as he's played some decent football for Die Fuggerstädter with 31 goals and 8 assists in all competitions. He's improved his movement off the ball, while ranking in the 95th percentile for aerial duels won amongst forwards in Europe's top 5 leagues last year.

Another decision that influenced his move to Augsburg in 2017 included his conversation with legendary coach Christian Streich, as Gregoritsch said, "Maybe as a young player, I also felt a bit overwhelmed. (The conversation) was about topics such as posture on the field, on which I definitely had to work on. Now I just feel much more ready."

Streich will put Gregoritsch to work immediately as Freiburg face a hectic schedule with their qualification for the Europa League. At 1,93 meters, the Austrian provides a taller presence up front as Freiburg look to improve in the air. Gregoritsch is also an excellent presser as he and Lucas Höler will undoubtedly hound opposing defenders.

Gregoritsch's arrival also means that Demirović is set to be his replacement. The Bosnian excelled in 2020/21 with 5 goals and 10 assists, but was usually brought on as a substitute last season. The 24-year-old received his wish of a fresh start where he can hopefully return to his usual self.

With the addition of Gregoritsch, Freiburg's attacking options are plentiful. Sallai, Jeong, Grifo and Petersen are joined by newcomers Kyereh and Doan at the front. Gregoritsch states that he's matured with an improved attitude and he's finally ready for Freiburg's crazy trainer 5 years later, "I can still develop under Streich at the age of 28. There is no player who hasn't gotten better under him."

The quiet team in the Black Forest has granted Gregoritsch his wish. European football awaits.

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