Dodi Lukebakio. Manuel Neuer will not forget that name any time soon. Fortuna Dusseldorf’s attacker had three times overcome the goalkeeper of FC Bayern on Matchday 12 of last season in 3: 3 in Munich. This succeeded during the eight years, the German national goalkeeper meanwhile guarded the gate of the German record champions, no player. Not the great Lionel Messi from FC Barcelona, not the irresistible Cristiano Ronaldo in the jersey of Real Madrid. Lukebakio but managed the feat, the Munich so embarrassed that then even a heated discussion about the future of coach Niko Kovac flared up.
The Belgian Under-21 player with Congolese roots, who was trained at the junior academy of RSC Anderlecht, was in the notebooks of many managers at the latest after this game. At the end of the season, the loan of Watford after 14 goals in 34 games has been associated with numerous major clubs, from the Premier League or from the Bundesliga.
That the lightning-fast and with a fine instinct pronounced right-winger is now just before a change to Hertha BSC, is closely linked to the investor deal, which the Berlin concluded with the entrepreneur Lars Windhorst. After all, until recently Lukebakio was not a caliber that Hertha’s manager Michael Preetz seriously considered. But since the end of June closed business, which flushed the blue-whites in one fell swoop 125 million euros for 37.5 percent stake in the Hertha BSC Limited Partnership on shares (KGaA) in the club, the omens have changed dramatically. “It is true that we can now also look elsewhere”, explained Preetz the new scope. Through the large transfer with the attacker, who can also act as a central tip, the capital club pushes into a new dimension.
So far, 2017 was committed by RB Leipzig Davie Selke the record purchase of the 127-year club history. Lukebakio costs almost three times. The negotiations with Watford are to be well advanced, Preetz still tries to press the request from the English transfer fee of 25 million euros something. With good chances, as well as English media reported. Lukebakio is said to have already decided for Hertha and have negotiated a five-year contract with Preetz. Including the salary of despite his height of 1.87 meters technically well-versed attacker, Lukebakio costs up to 35 million euros. Not even the fee for his two advisers Jeremy Pastel and Mohamed Faiech is considered.
In Dusseldorf you will look enviously to Berlin. After all, the Fortunen were – despite the athletic one point better season than the Berlin – in promoting a Lukebakio whereabouts obviously no chance. Hertha, on the other hand, extended the lending of Liverpool’s Marko Grujic for another year thanks to the rain of money – and now the next-generation neighbor is the most accurate striker.
But Hertha strives anyway to leave the gray Bundesligamittelma. The new funds are, as so often, opportunity and risk at the same time. The Lukebakio Millions, on the one hand, can make a decent profit in a few years, given the player’s development and excesses in the transfer market. On the other hand, its market value, which shot up from three to 18 million euros within one year, can also be halved quickly if it hits the gate less frequently in Berlin. He wants to play in any case soon in a team that has more possession, more goals than Fortuna Dusseldorf, Lukebakio had already announced in the spring in an interview with the sports picture.
Covic knows no mercy
Definitely, a transfer of this magnitude increases the pressure on Ante Covic. The longtime junior coach is to lead in his debut season as a professional coach the team “within reach of the international places”, as Preetz explained. For Covic leaves his Austrian players in Austria Stegersbach despite a heat wave that has hit the Alpine Republic, train twice a day, Covic has also provided two test matches, which bear the character of a dress rehearsal. So it came yesterday evening in 30 kilometers from Stegersbach distant Hartberg ever to a duel with the Turkish top club Fenerbahce Istanbul, which Hertha after a slow start by goals from Daishawn Redan and Vedad Ibisevic won 2-1. On July 31st, in the Ritzing community, which is a good hour’s drive from the team hotel, it will be against Premier League club West Ham United.
Whether Dodi Lukebakio still comes to the team in the training camp in Austria, which runs until 1 August, is still open, but of course desired, because not only his sporting integration could be accelerated by it. What is certain, on the other hand, is that Hertha has already begun a new era with double-digit business dealings.