Professionals | 23/05/2022

Move to Borussia Dortmund

Salih Özcan leaves 1. FC Köln

Salih Özcan will leave 1. FC Köln this summer to join Borussia Dortmund.

1. FC Köln and Salih Özcan will go their separate ways this summer. The Köln-born midfielder had a release clause in his contract activated and agreed on a contract with Borussia Dortmund until 2026. 

FC Managing Director, Christian Keller said: "Salih has come through the FC Academy and made an incredible development. After Steffen Baumgart spoke out so strongly in favour of him staying last year, Salih paid back that trust over the course of the season. As a result, he didn't just play his way into the Turkish national team but also into consideration of many top clubs. I always said that it would have been preferrable had Salih stayed with us. As 1. FC Köln, we gave everything to make that possible. However, he has decided to take on a new challenge at a higher level. There aren't many clubs that can offer Salih such an emotional environment paired with ambitions on both national and continental level like BVB. In the name of the entire club, I wish Salih all the best in Dortmund."

Salih Özcan said: "It isn't an easy decision to leave FC and that is no exaggeration. I am a Kölner, I've spent more than half my life at FC and Geißbockheim is my second home. Before the end of the season, I said that I wanted to fully concentrate on the end of the season in order to secure a successful end to the campaign for FC. I think that worked out very well. After the final game of the season, I sat down with my agent to speak about the future. 1. FC Köln was always my first point of contact and I know that those responsible at FC and the fans have done everything to convince me to stay. For that, I am very thankful and also proud. It is definitely the most difficult and emotional decision that I have had to make in my career so far. I've experienced so much at FC. Promotion, relegation, derby wins and qualifying for Europe. I want to thank all my team-mates, coaches and employees at Geißbockheim and especially Steffen Baumgart from the bottom of my heart for the trust and support. I now have the feeling that the time has come for me to find out how far I can go in a sporting sense and therefore I want to take the chance that Borussia Dortmund have offered me. I hope the fans can understand and accept my decision. BVB is one of the biggest clubs in Europe. A footballer doesn't often get the chance to join a club that regularly plays for the league and in the Champions League and has a similarly emotional fanbase like FC. Even when I'll be wearing a different kit next season, I'll always have FC In my heart. No-one can change that and that will always be the case."

Salih Özcan was born on 11th January 1998. He joined 1. FC Köln from SC West In 2007. He went through the FC Academy and developed Into a German youth international.  With the DFB, he won the U21 European Championship in June 2021 before deciding to play for the Turkish national team in March 2022.

On 21st September 2016, Özcan made his debut as an 18-year-old for the FC first-team. In the 2019-20 season, he spent a year on loan at Holstein Kiel before returning to 1. FC Köln. In total, he made 95 Bundesliga appearances, featured 15 times in 2. Bundesliga, played 12 times in the DFB-Pokal, as well as once in the Relegation Play-Off and five times in the Europa League.

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