Bundesliga News

Christian Clemens joins Frederik Sørensen on list of Köln disposables

By Peter Vice

FC Köln officially demoted three of its players to its reserve squad late last week.

The club now confirms that two of the trio have permission to leave. 

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The recent demotions of Robert Voloder, Frederik Sørensen, and Christian Clemens reduced the 1. FC Köln's active roster from 33 to 30 players. If sporting director Horst Heldt is to be believed, this constitutes about half of the dead-weight he seeks to cut before bringing in new players to assist his relegation threatened squad.

The 19-year-old Voloder is one of many younger players head-coach Markus Gisdol called up during his tenure. Last November, shortly after he took over for previous trainer Achim Beierlorzer, youth academy promotions like Noah Katterbach and Ismail Jakobs initially played well. Die Geißböcke enjoyed a brief revival under Gisdol before, like fellow relegation-candidates Schalke, a long winless run towards the end of the 2019/20 campaign spilled over into the current season.

The Cathedral City club snapped their own 18-game-winless streak with a 2-1 upset victory over Borussia Dortmund in round nine of this year's Bundesliga. The team nevertheless has managed only two victories through 15 rounds this season. Most recently, they suffered a humiliating 0-5 to defeat to SC Freiburg over the weekend. Heldt and Gisdol continue to reach into the youth ranks for prospects, while members of Gisdol's original promotion class are either being sent down or shopped.

While Voloder might be called up at some point in the future, both Sørensen and Clemens should be on the move. The former has been linked with FC Copenhagen in his native Denmark while the latter has the club's full permission to engage in transfer talks with any other club. It generally follows that a player given such permission will eventually be given his outright release if a swap cannot be worked out by the end of the window.

The 29-year-old Clemens, a Bundesliga veteran attacking winger who has also played with other relegation-threatened teams FSV Mainz 05 and FC Schalke 04, has scored 18 goals in two stints in an FC Kölner tricot. Injuries and form struggles have plagued him since he first left the Domstädter after the 2012/13 campaign. In parts of four seasons back with the club, his best came during the 2018/19 promotion campaign that brought the city back to the top-flight.

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