• Captain Lehmann renews for a further year.
  • Risse signs four-year extension.
  • Sörensen extends his deal by two years.

1. FC Köln have announced contract extensions for three of their key performers: Matthias Lehmann, Marcel Risse and Frederik Sörensen.

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Club captain Lehmann’s one-year extension will see him remain at the club he joined in 2012 until the summer of 2018. Head coach Peter Stöger said, “Matze Lehmann is an exemplary captain and has been a pillar of our team with his performances and approach to the game.”

Captain Matthias Lehmann's previous contract ran until the end of the season. © imago / T-F-Foto

The 33-year-old defensive midfielder, who has so far made 147 appearances for the Cologne side, including the opening 11 games of the season before suffering a knee ligament injury, added, “It’s still something special for me to be captain of 1. FC Köln. I love the responsibility at the club and believe we can continue to progress as a team. I want to continue to be a part of that as soon as I can recover from my injury.”

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Also currently out injured is 27-year-old Risse, but he too has extended his current deal and will remain a Billy Goat until 2022. Stöger believes the midfielder has earned his new contract: “Marcel was putting in top performances until his injury in December and was a massive part in our impressive first half of the season with two goals and four assists.” Risse’s second goal of the campaign gave Köln victory in the Rheinderby over Borussia Mönchengladbach thanks to a thunderbolt free-kick in injury time, which was voted goal of the month for November.

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Born in Cologne, Risse is thrilled to be extending his stay at his hometown club, where he has scored 23 goals in 115 appearances since joining in 2013: “I know what I have here at Köln. There’s a real sense of continuity and reliability in the team, and that’s what makes 1. FC Köln stand out for me. The fact we’ve renewed my contract despite being out injured is a real sign appreciation from the club, and I’m really thankful for that.”

Versatile defender Sörensen is the third Billy Goat to have his deal renewed having played every minute of the Hinrunde this campaign. “It’s been great fun to play for this team and play in the Bundesliga,” said Sörensen, whose deal at the RheinEnergieSTADION now runs through to 2021. “It’s definitely helped me progress as a player since arriving from the Italian league. I’m really pleased to be carrying on with Köln, and I’m sure we can be successful for our enthusiastic fans.”

The 24-year-old Dane has made 38 Bundesliga appearances since joining from Juventus. © imago

“Freddie is a top performer with great flexibility in defence," added Stöger. "He fits perfectly into our team with his no-nonsense approach and has shown in his year-and-a-half here how valuable he is to the team as both a centre-back and full-back.”