Toprak, Mai, Assalé and Plogmann: How former Werder pros are doing at their new clubs

Bremen – Last season they were all part of SV Werder Bremen’s promotion squad. While at Ömer Toprak (now Antalyaspor) only the former captain was a mainstay in coach Ole Werner’s team, Lars Lukas Mai (FC Lugano), Roger Assalé (FCO Dijon) and Luca Plogmann (Go Ahead Eagles) played at most a subordinate role. In the summer, the quartet left the Greens-Whites for various reasons. Six months later, the DeichStube has now taken a closer look at how Werder’s departures have gone to their new clubs.

Omer Toprak (Antalyaspor): November 13 ended with a big shock: almost an hour and a half before the scheduled kick-off of the Süper Lig match between Besiktas Istanbul and Antalyaspor A bomb exploded in the middle of the famous “Istiklal Caddesi” shopping street in the heart of Istanbul. The explosion killed six people and injured 81 others. A terrible event – also for Omer Toprak and Nuri Sahin, the former players of SV Werder Bremenwho were preparing with their team the last match before the truce of the World Cup in the Turkish metropolis at the time of the detonation.

Almost five weeks later, appeared Antalyaspor having endured the shock after the attack in Istanbul well: last Tuesday, coach Nuri Sahin’s team won the round of 16 of the “Türkiye Kupasi”, the Turkish Cup, against Manisa FK 1-0 . During Omer Toprakwhich also in Turkey as formerly in Werder Bremen was injured more often, wasn’t available in the cup, the ex-Bremer returned to Antalyaspor’s starting XI in the league game at Istanbul BB last Sunday. But he couldn’t prevent the 0:2 defeat.

Former Werder Bremen captain Ömer Toprak is one of Antalyaspor’s best players – but suffers from injuries

It was for Toprak and Antalyaspor After a mixed start to the season in recent weeks, we are finally back on track. After three consecutive league victories, the team coached by Nuri Sahin, who took over as coach of the “Skorpione” last season and led them sensationally to seventh place, fell from 16th to tenth place . It also had to do with being a veteran Omer Toprak had survived his renewed injury worries, at least for a short time. Because as in his time at SV Werder Bremen the newcomer brought by Sahin as a top player had to struggle again and again with various problems in Turkey. Toprak was therefore out for a total of two months due to a back injury and then due to persistent groin issues and as a result his teammates were missing from all corners and ends. Without the 33-year-old, there have been four bankruptcies in five games. Antalyaspor conceded 13 goals and only won 5-2 against Trabzonspor.

celebrated in early October Omer Toprak finally made their comeback against Konyaspor and held on with a solid 1-1 performance. Two more 90-minute appearances against Alanyaspor (2-3) and Istanbulspor (2-1) followed before the 263-time Bundesliga player lost again in late October to Sivasspor (2-0). After 13 match days, Toprak has played six league matches for Antalyaspor. The fans of SV Werder Bremen During his three years on the Weser, Toprak was always seen as a fragile candidate due to his susceptibility to injury and missed many games. But almost always, when he was playing, he was one of the best on the pitch. But it was precisely this uncertainty that became too great for the green-white managers after the return to the Bundesliga, which is why they only offered Toprak a very performance-related contract, which he then rejected. The split ensued and Toprak signed a two-year contract with the Mediterranean club. Probably the last of his career, marked by injury concerns.

Former Werder Bremen professional Lars Lukas Mai is a regular at Swiss Premier League club FC Lugano

Lars Lukas May (FC Lugano): “I am very happy to work for the FC Lugano I will play and I am sure we will have a successful season together. It’s the right stage for me and I’m very motivated to give my all on the pitch. Lars Luke May Posted on his Instagram profile in mid-June, after moving to Switzerland – and it has to be said so clearly: he followed his words with deeds.

Because six months later, the 22-year-old started his career after the loan interlude that failed him personally SV Werder Bremen and subsequent separation from FC Bayern Munich FC Lugano definitely given new impetus in Switzerland. Lars Luke May is one of the absolute regulars in the current team fourth in the Super League and has played 15 games out of a possible 16. It wasn’t until Matchday 5 against FC Basel that the sturdy central defender went unused. Otherwise, he came 14 times in the full 90 minutes to practice.

Former Werder-Bremen professional Lars Lukas Mai is fourth with FC Lugano in the first Swiss league

Also for the team of the ex-professional of Werder Bremen things are going pretty well on the sports side. After 16 games out of a total of 36 to play so far – only ten teams play in the Swiss Premier League, which play each other four times a season – Mai and Co. are in fourth place with 23 points, the turn of qualification for the Conference League qualification would suffice. In addition, the team from the canton of Ticino are separated by only two points from Servette FC, second (25 points), and only three points from FC Sion, eighth. He’s also in the cut FC Lugano about the Dresden native Lars Luke May successful: The team coached by Mattia Croci-Torti, who also has former Wolfsburg player Renato Steffen under contract, reached the quarter-finals.

So far, May’s move to Switzerland can certainly be called perfect. It was very different last season. In the summer of 2021, the European U21 champion was one of the first newcomers to the club as a loanee. SV Werder Bremen. But things were never going to go smoothly for him in the Second Division team back then. Mai was rarely able to convince, was rather often prone to error and in the end only got a little playing time (16 games). The new chapter in Switzerland, on the other hand, seems to be really good for him: in the beautiful, picturesque region in the south of the country Lars Luke May important cornerstone of the team, he has a contract until the summer of 2024. And who knows: maybe even more than a fourth place is possible for May and the FC Lugano.

Former Werder Bremen professional Roger Assalé is also going through a tough time at FCO Dijon

Roger Assale (Dijon FCO): Roger Assalé is back after his unsuccessful loan spell at SV Werder Bremen return to the former place of work: at Dijon FCO. But things are also going quite unsatisfactorily for the 29-year-old returnee to the French second division team. The former Ivory Coast international’s meager record: he’s been used in ten of 16 games this season, but only once has he been able to prove himself for the full 90 minutes. After all, Assalé scored his first and so far only league goal in that match against penultimate FC Chamois Niortais. Dijon still lost 2-1. And it got worse, because array-17. fits not only in the huge league. A week later there was an embarrassing cup loss to fourth division FC Saint-Pryve Saint-Hilaire. The fact that Roger Assalé scored on penalties (2-3) was small consolation considering the elimination. Especially since the team has been waiting for a victory for eleven competitive games in the meantime.

The Ivorian is therefore stuck – as for the SV Werder Bremen – again at a difficult stage in his career. How he thinks about it is largely uncertain. As in his time in Bremen, Assalé does not give any interviews. Only this point is clear: after a week-long training camp in Faro, Portugal, for Roger Assale already started the rest of the round with the club threatened with relegation. The second day of Christmas succeeded Dijon FCO a huge 5-0 home win over Stade Laval. Assalé was replaced fifteen minutes from the end. The 29-year-old, who has played just six times in the second division for Werder and has had no chances in the last six months, still has a contract with the club from the capital of the eastern French region of Burgundy. until summer 2024.

Former Werder-Bremen goalkeeper Luca Plogmann is currently number two at Dutch Premier League club Go Ahead Eagles

Luca Plogman (Go Ahead Eagles): had for months Luca Plogman waited for the opportunity to finally show up again. The goalkeeper, once considered the great talent of the SV Werder Bremen Been looking for a new club since summer but just couldn’t find it. The Dutch first division team until mid-October go ahead eagles de Deventer knocked on the 22-year-old’s door, with whom Plogmann subsequently signed a contract until the end of the season. At the club “with one of the best club names in the world”, as Plogmann quoted on his new employer’s website, Plogmann only wants one thing above all else: to finally play football again. Prior to the new chapter in the Netherlands, the ex-Werder Bremen goalkeeper (a Bundesliga game) only kept fit through individual training.

For about two months, the native of Bremen has finally found a real team. However, he is only number two for the ‘Eagles’ behind Jeffrey de Lange and has been on the bench in all five competitive games. So far, the 2021 Olympic rider hasn’t been able to use one. Plogmann would like to return between positions to show that he is also important for the team outside of training go ahead eagles perhaps. “I’m very motivated to show my best side”, had Luca Plogman explained following his move. This had only become possible because the ex-talent of the SV Werder Bremen profited from the misfortune of a future competitor. Reserve goalkeeper Erwin Mulder, who only came from Heerenveen in the summer, suffered a hand injury and has since been absent from the squad. The club responded by signing Plogmann and have not lost a game since. With currently 15 points, the “Eagles” are 11th in the table. of the Eredivisie on target. And Plogman? He is waiting for his chance again. This time, however, not on a change of club, but on a return to the pitch. It’s been a long time since his last competitive game: on December 11, 2021, he kept Bremen’s goal in the Regionalliga North – in Werder U23’s 0-1 loss to Atlas Delmenhorst. (mwi)

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