Eric Martel has joined 1. FC Köln. The 20-year-old joins from Leipzig and has signed a four-year deal at FC. The Germany under-21 midfielder, who was on loan at Austria Wien last season, made 30 appearances for the Austrian Bundesliga club (two goals, two assists). Under the tutelage of former FC assistant coach, Manfred Schmid, Martel managed to reach the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
FC Managing Director, Christian Keller said: “I know Eric from his time in the youth team at SSV Jahn Regensburg. At that point, alongside his footballing talent, Eric was known for his mentality. His hard work and never say die attitude are two of his characteristics that I’d like to single out. These attributes are part of the reason why Eric, despite being so young, managed to make a name for himself as one of the rising stars in his position in Austria. With the move to us, Eric now makes the next big step in his development. We are convinced, that he will be able to make that step. At the same time, Eric knows what is expected of him at FC. Therefore, he must keep working hard every day and invest in his development.”
Eric Martel said: “For me, the deciding factor to come here was the perspective. You can see that Köln are going on a path where they want to build on young players with room to develop. I think that I fit in well to that. FC is obviously a cool club as well. Last year, I got a lot of game time with Austria Wien and that led to me developing really well. I want to keep moving forward with that now in Köln. However, it is also clear to me that the jump to the Bundesliga is a bigger one. But I believe in myself, that I can make it happen.”
Eric Martel was born on 29th April 2002 in Straubing. He took his first footballing steps with RSV Ittling and was part of the SSV Jahn Regensburg youth academy until 2017. He then made the move to Leipzig and became a German youth international. In September 2020, Martel pulled on the Germany strip for the first-time at under-19 level. Two months later, he made his first-team debut under Julian Nagelsmann as an 18-year-old. He came on as a substitute in the DFB-Pokal tie against FC Augsburg. Since January 2021, Martel has been with Austria Wien. For the capital club, he made 55 appearances (four goals, five assists).