Philipp Max is the new left-back at Eintracht Frankfurt

An his first day at work on the Main, Philipp Max from New Frankfurt followed in the footsteps of an old companion. After the 29-year-old left-back had cycled from the professional camp to the training ground alongside Mario Götze, Max then ran down the small hill to the workplace behind the 2014 world champion. Until last summer, both formed a German team at PSV Eindhoven before Götze returned to the Bundesliga.

Now the former Augsburg first division professional Max took the same path on the last day of the winter transfer period and thus followed Götze: On Tuesday, Eintracht signed the defender on loan until the end of the season; The Champions League round of 16 participant then says he has a purchase option for Max, whose contract in Eindhoven runs until July 1, 2024. It is quite possible that under certain circumstances it will even become a purchase obligation.

Either way: We are talking about around two million euros. According to, his current market value is six million euros. As for Max’s salary at Eintracht, it is said that he was willing to make losses. Max considers the renewed interaction with Götze to be very worthwhile. “Playing football with him and talking about it is something very special for me,” said Max. “Mario is one of the best German footballers.”

“Fits perfectly in our team”

With Max, who once enriched the game of league rivals FC Augsburg for five years with a total of 15 goals and 29 assists in 156 games and then moved to Eindhoven in the summer of 2020 for 7.7 million euros, Eintracht wins, which caused the injury-related absence ( Syndesmoseband) from Junior Dina Ebimbe complains, “an experienced defender, who makes us even more variable and flexible for the numerous demanding tasks in the second half of the season,” said sporting director Markus Krösche and added: “With his skills and also as a person, he fits perfectly into our team. We are happy about the option of being able to retain him for the long term.”

After the young American Paxten Aaronson on offense, Max, who won the Olympic silver medal with Germany in 2016, is the second winter signing and a much more experienced reinforcement by comparison. In his almost two and a half years in the Netherlands, the fast, dynamic and hard-fighting Max, the son of former Schalke Bundesliga striker Martin Max, completed 117 competitive games in which he scored eight goals and 20 assists. The national cup and twice the Supercup went into his collection of titles.

Trained in Munich and Schalke

His most successful season was his first with six goals and 12 assists in all competitions. Max, who was trained at 1860 Munich, Bayern and Schalke 04, knew how to use his strength on the offensive in a profitable way. Especially under the former PSV trainer Roger Schmidt, he made “a few steps” in his development, says Max. Recently, however, the man with the short, bleached hair had lost some of his status with the current third in the table.

The three-time international with appearances from 2020 only played 45 minutes against Emmen and was not part of the Dutch giants’ squad against Go Ahead Eagles. In his position, the competitive situation had changed for the worse for him under coach Ruud van Nistelrooy. In Frankfurt, on the other hand, there is a vacancy in the left-back position in terms of quality.

After the departure of high-flyer Filip Kostić to Juventus Turin, many have already tried their hand there. In Frankfurt’s 3-4-2-1, nobody was really convincing. Christopher Lenz embodies mediocrity and is also prone to injury. In the game forward, the 28-year-old is hardly successful. For Ansgar Knauff, as a temporary worker, the left side of defense is the “wrong” side. There are not enough promising flanks coming from him. The right foot feels much better off on the right side.

Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner and Luca Pellegrini (right)

Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner and Luca Pellegrini (right)

Image: Huebner

And Luca Pellegrini? The 23-year-old Italian does not get along with Frankfurt’s style of play as desired, he was recently out due to injuries. He’s now training again. Eintracht would probably not have been unhappy if the Juventus player on loan had left the Hessians early. However, the contract was not terminated by the end of the change period.

The Frankfurters could well have imagined the commitment of a central defender. An interesting candidate for Eintracht is said to have been the former Mainzer Jeremiah St. Juste, who joined Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2022 for a double-digit million amount. But apparently the Portuguese did not want to let the 26-year-old Dutchman, who had met Eintracht twice with his club in the Champions League, not.

For the coming season, the Frankfurters have found a new central defender. In all probability, William Pacho will join the Hessians and receive a long-term contract from the Belgian first division club Royal Antwerpen. The transfer fee for the 21-year-old World Cup participant from Ecuador is at least around nine million euros. In addition, there are bonus payments in the event of success.

Pacho could become the successor to Evan Ndicka, whose contract expires after this season and whose stay in Main is considered unlikely. In Antwerp, Pacho is a regular with 30 competitive appearances in this round. In the new one, he could then become Max’s teammate.



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