By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Christian Streich hints at Janik Haberer departure in interview

SC Freiburg Christian Streich had much discuss regarding his team's prospects in the coming season. Among the information he gave to German magazine Kicker, it appears as if midfield mainstay Janik Haberer is also on the way out.
SC Freiburg manager Christian Streich’s 2020/21 rebuilding task may become more onerous yet. Crucial actors departing the Breisgau club over the Summer include star young striker Luca Waldschmidt (Benfica-Lissabon), captain Mike Frantz (Hannover 96), defensive anchor Robin Koch (Leeds United), and starting keeper Alexander Schwolow (Hertha BSC).

Now—as reported by Bundesliga news site LigaInsider—Streich has disclosed that he expects midfield anchor Janik Haberer to leave as well. Ligainsider cites a lengthy interview Streich gave to German footballing magazine Kicker on Sunday.

The German Bundesliga’s longest serving manager, highly respected and eminently quotable, spoke on several topics. Streich offered opinions on the league “Geisterspiele” policies, weighed in on the state of the COVID crisis, and even took a strong stand on the current player boycotts in US Sports.

When discussing his own club, the Schwarzwaldverein boss admitted that the departures have left him with many holes to fill. The midfield remains the most pressing issue. Waldschmidt’s creativity in attack shall be missed, but Freiburg have acquired a new promising young striker in 22-year-old Bosnian prospect Ermedin Demirovic. Additionally, combined scorers of 19 league goals last season, Nils Peteren and Lucas Höler, remain on the roster.

Streich has replacement candidates for Koch in the recent academy promotion Luca Itter along with returning-loan-player Keven Schlotterbeck. Twenty-one-year prospect Lino Tempelmann, when healthy, can also help shore up the defensive ranks as either a fullback or defensive midfielder.

In other personnel news, Streich divulged that the club is actively seeking loan-destinations for both Tunisian defender Mohammed Dräger (just returning from a season-long loan to the relegated SC Paderborn) and Australian midfielder Brandon Borrello (a disappointment in four starts last season). By contrast, South Korean midfield prospect Woo-Yeong Jeong impressed the trainer immensely. Streich ruled another loan-spell for the 20-year-old out, stating “He should remain here with us.

Discussing Haberer directly, Streich noted “on him [Haberer], I can’t really say, because I don’t really know, but it may be the case that he’ll no longer be with us at the end of the transfer period.” Haberer is in the final year of his contract. As the club has not aggressively sought to renew, a move to more promising pastures seems in the cards.

Haberer scored two goals in 26 appearances for overachieving Freiburg last season. The Breisgauer once again defied predictions that they would find themselves in the relegation fight by finishing sixth. A very strong start to the season saw the team remain in contention for an Europa League place until the season’s penultimate round.

Though the Summer moves have left SC Freiburg with a positive transfer balance of approximately €33 million, a small-market team heavily reliant on gate receipts for its income cannot be expected to make even a modest splash in the transfer market in the COVID Era. Streich must, as he has so many times before, restock his team from the youth academy.

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