FC Köln - Hertha BSC

Germany: Bundesliga
FC Köln A. Modeste (41), F. Kainz (52), F. Kainz (55)
RheinEnergieStadion3-1Attendance: 16.500
Hertha BSC S. Jovetić (6)
PreviewLineup

Dardai prepared to use Cunha right away: "He's had a lot of offers, but also has a Hertha heart."

By Peter Vice

A whirlwind of transfer rumors notwithstanding, Hertha BSC trainer Pal Dardai believes Matheus Cunha has a place in his heart for his current club. 

The recently returned Olympic Gold Medalist will be needed immediately as a banged-up capital city side prepare for their league opener against Köln in this weekend's Sunday capper. 

Matheus Cunha.
Matheus Cunha.Photo: GEPA Pictures/Roger Petzsche

The persistent transfer rumors involving Brazilian international Mathheus Cunha are unlikely to die down anytime soon. The 22-year-old's profile has quickly grown to a level considered to be too big for a lower table club not competing in Europe. Cunha appears precisely the sort of player the new sporting administration of chief personnel exec Fredi Bobic would like to sell.


For now, the club at which he broke through during a prolific second half to the 2019/20 campaign needs him. With Jhon Cordoba sold, Krzysztof Piatek still injured, and Davie Selke/Daishawn Redan still constituting second and third choice options, Cunha my be called upon to work as the lead striker. He has done so before.

"Matheus has had a lot of offers, but he has a Hertha heart," Dardai told members of the assembled press at a Wednesday media round, "We can count on him this weekend. I'm very pleased that he came back [from the Olympics] on time. That means he wants to be here."

Whether or not Cunha truly wishes to remain in Charlottenburg isn't entirely certain. There have been some rumors that suggest he doesn't necessarily wish to leave merely for the sake of switching to a Champions' League club.

According to some sources, Atalanta Bergamo were willing to offer German left-back Robin Gosens for Cunha in a straight swap. Cunha is reported to have nixed the deal himself. Sporting CEO Bobic did complete one of his trademark swaps last week, shipping out Arne Maier to Augsburg in exchange for Marco Richter.

Dardai also had high praise for Richter during the media round, but suggested that he would integrate his new winger into the squad slowly. The same does not apply to Cunha, who will barely have time to get over his jet-lag.

"We can use his positive euphoria after winning the medal," Dardai also noted, "We can use that. He's a winner, top professional, and fit."


FC Köln
(4-3-1-2)
1Timo Horn
2Benno Schmitz ↩84
4Timo Hübers
5Rafael Czichos
14Jonas Hector (C)
29Jan Thielmann
28Ellyes Skhiri
11Florian Kainz ↩76
7Dejan Ljubicic ↩76
27Anthony Modeste ↩76
13Mark Uth ↩68
Bench
20Marvin Schwäbe
9Sebastian Andersson ↪76
19Kingsley Ehizibue ↪84
22Jorge Meré
6Salih Özcan ↪76
18Ondrej Duda ↪68
21Louis Schaub ↪76
25Tim Lemperle
31Tomáš Ostrák
Hertha BSC
(4-3-3)
1Alexander Schwolow
2Peter Pekarík ↩59
5Niklas Stark (C)
31Márton Dárdai
21Marvin Plattenhardt
29Lucas Tousart
27Kevin-Prince Boateng ↩59
18Santiago Ascacíbar
8Suat Serdar
10Matheus Cunha ↩65
19Stevan Jovetić ↩65
Bench
12Nils-Jonathan Körber
11Dodi Lukebakio ↪65
23Marco Richter ↪65
13Lukas Klünter ↪59
17Maximilian Mittelstädt
25Jordan Torunarigha
42Deyovaisio Zeefuik ↪59
6Vladimír Darida
16Javairô Dilrosun

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