Max Kruse is back in the Bundesliga having spent last season in Turkey with Fenerbahce. A fan favourite of a forward, Kruse had offers to go elsewhere, but something in his gut told him to sign for relative Bundesliga new boys, Union Berlin.
A Werder Bremen youth product, Kruse had scored 32 goals in 84 games in his second spell with die Grün-Weißen before leaving for Fenerbahce last June. On ending his contract this summer, Kruse was tipped to return, but he has chosen another path.
"It was a gut feeling," Kruse told the Berliner Kurier of his decision to sign for Union. "From the moment I met [sporting director] Oliver Ruhnert, I had a good feeling. I remembered the electric atmosphere here that you can feel even on TV, and of course, Berlin's a good place to live."
Watch: Kruse's Top 5 Bundesliga goals
An entertaining figure on and off the field, Kruse finished third in the 2014 World Series of Poker in Nevada. Despite also having offers to relocate to the USA full-time, the forward - capped 14 times by Germany - still thought he had something to show in the Bundesliga.
"The only [other option] I was still thinking about was a move to the US, because my son lives there," he said. "Unfortunately, I haven't seen so much of him over the last 10 years and it feels like a good time to set that right."
"But in the end, I wanted to continue my career at the highest level. I just want to remind the people in Germany what I can do."
Kruse may not start Union's season opener at home to Augsburg due to an ankle injury. The 32-year-old has worked hard on his fitness, though, and when he does return, it should be well worth the wait.