Hannover 96 goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler has joined Bundesliga club 1. FC Köln on a season’s loan.
Despite only rejoining the club last summer and having a contract until 2023, Zieler was unceremoniously told he would play no further part in Kenan Kocak’s plans in the upcoming season, with Michael Esser re-signed to replace him as number one.
Köln have saved him, at least for now, from a particularly awkward situation, with the 31-year-old returning to the club he played for as a youngster between 1999 and 2005. He will now provide stiff competition for Timo Horn in Müngersdorf.
“With Ron we have found a goalkeeper who fits our profile exactly,” says Köln managing director Horst Heldt on the club’s website. He adds that Zieler “has the quality and experience” for the role that has been set out for him, namely as “number two with the claim to play.”
Zieler, who was born in Cologne, says “it’s nice to return” to the club and that he “didn’t have to think twice” about taking the opportunity to do to so. “I am really happy about the chance to play in my native city again,” he adds.
Parent club Hannover confirmed the news from their end with only a brief statement. Martin Kind had said publicly last week that Zieler “won’t have a chance with us” and that they “shouldn’t have signed him” last summer, with the crassness of the comments criticised by the new players’ union.
A bitter end for a player who had served the club with such distinction in his first spell at the HDI-Arena.
Header image source: 1. FC Köln.