Despite some misconduct and negative headlines, Martin Hinteregger was always an important defender for Eintracht Frankfurt. Sports director Markus Krösche has already identified a potential successor within the team.
While Oliver Glasner would like at least one more winter reinforcement for the defense so that he has to experiment less if necessary, Markus Krösche sees Eintracht's defense as well prepared for the second half of the season.
And this despite the fact that Martin Hinteregger did not specifically address the gap, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The sports director already sees a potential successor to the Austrian, who is always important for Frankfurt, in the squad: namely Hrvoje Smolcic. The 22-year-old came to the Main from Croatia in the summer for around 2.5 million euros.
Smolcic is not yet one of the regulars in central defence. But that will surely change sooner or later. Most recently, he was allowed to appear on the pitch in four games in a row across all competitions. He also started in the important Champions League game against Olympique Marseille.
"Of course, there is still a long way to go for him to reach this top level, but we support Hrvoje in constantly getting better," Krösche also knew how to focus on the medium and long-term path.
Nevertheless, he already sees him as "a very good example" of the SBU's transfer and personnel policy.
It is still uncertain whether he will one day become as important for Frankfurt as Hinteregger was and at the same time become a fan favourite. But the right systems are definitely there if you listen to what Krösche says.
This article was originally published on 90min.com/de as Krösche: This Eintracht player can become Hinteregger's successor.