Bayern Munich have confirmed the signing of Sebastian Rode on a four-year deal from Eintracht Frankfurt. The 23-year-old will join up with Bayern at the end of the season once his active contract expires with his current club:
Rode becomes the second player this year to sign a pre-contract with the German champions after Robert Lewandowski agreed a five-year deal with the Bavarians earlier this year, per BBC Sport.
In January, Frankfurt CEO Heribert Bruchhagen confirmed Rode's move to Bayern Munich would take place, courtesy of ESPN's Stephan Uersfeld, “That has been clear for nine months now.”
The Frankfurt man will join up with a Bayern squad that has an embarrassment of riches in the central midfield area and faces a huge task if he is to force his way into Pep Guardiola’s immediate first team plans. There are concerns that talents like Rode and 18-year-old prospect Pierre Hojbjerg will hardly feature in this Bayern side, a question posed by Bleacher Report's Clark Whitney:
Sebastian Rode pens 4-year deal with Bayern Munich. Place your bets on how many games he and the budding talent Højbjerg play next season— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) April 14, 2014
Rode is a versatile midfield player who has played in a host of different positions for Frankfurt this campaign, and that versatility may come in handy with Bayern challenging on many different fronts. He prefers to operate as an orthodox central-midfield man, but has played as a holding player and even out wide throughout this Bundesliga campaign.
He is a neat and tidy footballer, and whilst he has caught the eye this season with some mature displays, he’s yet to score or create a goal in this season’s Bundesliga, per WhoScored.com.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Bleacher Report’s Sam Tighe, who is unsure as to whether Rode is up to the standards that Guardiola will ultimately demand from his Bayern team:
Rode signs for #Bayern. He's good but is he Pep Guardiola's Bayern good?— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) April 14, 2014
The 23-year-old is certainly a player that could flourish under the tutelage of the former Barcelona boss, though. He averages more than 50 passes a game at an average success rate 84.3% in the Bundesliga per WhoScored.com and his ability to recycle possession will certainly appeal to Guardiola and his demand to dominate the ball.
For the Bundesliga as a collective though, official confirmation of this deal is disappointing news. Rode has developed as a player due to regular minutes at Frankfurt, and there is a worry his progress will stagnate when he’s engulfed within this enormous Bayern squad; he just isn't going to get enough playing time at the Bavarian giants.