Last week, Werder Bremen confirmed that Davie Selke joined the club on a loan deal from Hertha Berlin. This decision comes as somewhat of a surprise, as five Premier League clubs were reported to be courting the German striker. It is hard to believe that after all the initial excitement, Selke’s time at Hertha Berlin was a disappointment. With just five goals in his last 51 appearances, it was time to move on, and Bremen offers the striker a chance to reignite his stuttering career.
Werder Bremen Hand Davie Selke a Lifeline
Where it All Began
Not too long ago, Selke was one of Europe’s most sought after attacking talents. He came to prominence by winning the golden boot at the 2014 U19 European Championship. In the 2014/15 season, Selke broke into Werder Bremen’s first team, scoring ten goals. There was so much hype around the 20-year-old that even Real Madrid were said to be keeping a close eye on him.
Selke’s career then took an unexpected and controversial turn. After his successful campaign with Bremen, the German transferred to second-tier side RB Leipzig. Many Bremen fans felt disrespected, while pundits were perplexed that Selke would trade a starting role at a top-flight club for the second-tier. The move was viewed as financially motivated. Selke countered those claims, saying that he wants to play his part in taking “a very ambitious club far.”
Selke’s Time at RB Leipzig Ended in Disappointment
Whatever his reasons were for moving, Selke scored ten in 32 appearances in his first campaign with Leipzig. Statistically speaking, the 2015/16 campaign was a carbon copy of his previous year with Bremen. Leipzig gained promotion, putting Selke back in the top-flight. Many thought he would continue his development into becoming one of Germany’s top strikers.
The 2016/17 season was the first setback in his career however, as Timo Werner took Selke’s place. Of his 21 appearances, only two were starts. Many began to question whether the hype surrounding Selke was justified. Others stated that there is no shame in losing your place to the likes of Werner. Two of Selke’s four goals that season came against Hertha. A month later, the Berlin club announced that he would be joining them for the 2017/18 season.
Switching Leipzig for Germany’s Capital
Upon his arrival in Berlin, the excitement was palpable. Davie Selke was viewed as the man to lead Hertha’s attack, and usher in a new, successful age for the capital city club. Unfortunately, Selke’s Hertha career began with a pre-season injury that kept him out until mid-October. The striker bounced back, scoring 14 goals during the remainder of the campaign, his highest tally to date. Fans on Hertha’s Ostkurve began to love Selke’s maniacal, return on your shield intensity, and his willingness to challenge for every ball.
This impressive first season was as good as it would get for Selke at Hertha. Football is cruel, and another injury in the 2018/19 pre-season kept him out until mid-September. At the same time, striker Vedad Ibisevic took Selke’s starting spot. The injury, combined with Ibisevic’s great form, happened just at the moment when fans believed Selke would have his best season to date.
Injuries and Inconsistency Plagued Selke’s Hertha Spell
That season, Selke made 32 appearances, with half of them being starts He scored just four goals. The German was able to put in some impressive performances, ensuring that fans could continue to cling on to these tiny glimmers of hope. The most notable came away at Borussia Monchengladbach, where Selke went on an 80-metre run before calmly laying the ball off to Ondrej Duda.
Afterwards, Lothar Matthäus said that Selke could be the DFB team’s next number nine if he remains “fit and in form.” Inconsistency and injury problems are the main criticisms of the young man. After the disappointing campaign, the German became a point of contention for Hertha fans. The moments of brilliance in the previous season and the injury-free pre-season made many believe that Selke would regain his form. Others argued that while he is a great athlete with the right mindset, he does not possess the technique to stand out at this level.
The 2019/20 Campaign Has Been the Worst for Davie Selke
The high expectations from some fans, however, never materialised. Dardai’s replacement, Ante Čović, preferred Ibisevic from day one. Selke started just four times during Čović’s short tenure, scoring once. No one could fault the German for not trying, he simply seemed to lack the ability. Unluckiness played its role too. At Köln, when Selke was replaced by Ibisevic, the Bosnian immediately scored a brace to seal the win.
Upon Jürgen Klinsmann’s appointment as manager, Selke found his way back into the starting 11 but failed to find the net in his final seven appearances for Die Alte Dame. After the signing of Polish striker Krzysztof Piątek from AC Milan, Klinsmann’s intentions were clear, and the writing was on the wall. Selke realized that if he wanted to play regular football, he would have to leave.
Selke’s Time at Hertha Berlin was a Disappointment, but Anything is Possible in Football
After all the initial hype and moments of brilliance, no one could foresee Selke’s demise. It was expected that he would eventually leave Berlin, but instead of Werder Bremen, he would be on his way to greater pastures. A return to northwest Germany might be exactly what Davie Selke needs, however. In a moment of magic, the striker scored the opener in this week’s cup victory over Borussia Dortmund, showing that although his time at Hertha Berlin was a disappointment, rebirths are just one of the many reasons why we love football.