'Darmstadt is the right step for me' – City send Franke back to Germany on loan again
PUBLISHED: 08:29 28 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:57 28 June 2018
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Marcel Franke’s unsuccessful time with Norwich City could be at an end after the centre-back joined German second-tier side Darmstadt on a season-long loan, with the option of a permanent switch.
The 25-year-old defender joined the Canaries last summer from another Bundesliga II team, Greuther Furth, in a deal worth up to £2.5million but was loaned out having started just five Championship matches – the last of which was a 4-0 defeat at Millwall.
He joined hometown club Dynamo Dresden on loan in January and made 16 appearances to ensure relegation to the third tier was avoided.
Franke now heads straight back to Bundesliga II with Darmstadt for the 2018/19 campaign, with an option for a permanent move to follow already negotiated.
City’s statement confirming the deal concluded: “Everyone at Norwich City would like to wish Marcel all the best for the season.”
Canaries head coach Daniel Farke currently has Grant Hanley, Timm Klose and Christoph Zimmermann as his senior options at centre-back, with former Lincoln man Sean Raggett also hoping to impress during pre-season.
Franke is under contract at Norwich until 2020, with the option for a further 12 months.
“The good conversations with the trainer and the team concept that I was able to identify with immediately convinced me that Darmstadt is the right step for me,” Franke said after his new loan was confirmed.
“I am happy to be with the Lilies now and I am pleased with the coming challenge.”
Canaries midfielder Mario Vrancic played for Darmstadt for two years before moving to England last summer following their relegation from the Bundesliga, followed by a mid-table finished in the second tier.
Speaking to Darmstadt’s website, manager Dirk Schuster added: “Marcel Franke is a physically strong and good aerial player who already has second league experience.
“We are confident he can do his part in a more competitive and stable season.”