City confirm Marco Stiepermann exit
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Marco Stiepermann has left Norwich City by 'mutual agreement'.
The Canaries confirmed the departure of the attacking midfielder late on Wednesday afternoon.
Stiepermann was entering the final 12 months of the deal he signed in 2019, after his influential role in the club’s first Championship title win under Daniel Farke.
The 30-year-old made 119 appearances for the club, scoring 12 goals, following his move from Bochum in August 2017 in a spell that brought two Championship title winner's medals.
But his game time at Carrow Road over the past two seasons was hindered by illness, with the popular midfielder diagnosed firstly with coronavirus and later Epstein-Barr virus.
“When I first joined Norwich I never expected the amazing four years that followed," he said. "I have found my second family in Norfolk and I learned so much about how amazing the football club is. It’s a big family.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to experience two promotions and have been able to play in the Premier League. It has been the greatest time of my career.
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“Moving to England in the beginning was quite tough, but on my first day the players and staff were amazing at helping me settle in the area. It’s a great gift from the Norwich people – they make those not from the area feel at home.
“I have never experienced a dressing room and staff like it before. There are so many amazing people behind the scenes – too many to name.
“Leaving the football club, I think you can say it’s more of a friendship I have with the coach. I owe him and Stuart Webber so much. They always believed in me and gave me their trust.
"For the supporters, I can only say thank you. Seeing them each and every home game in a full stadium was amazing and something I had never really experienced in Germany. I have been lucky to have made some great memories with them and I thank them for their support and backing.
“Leaving the club, I will now always be a Canary. Before I was just black and yellow. I will now always be black, yellow and green.”
Stiepermann’s only goal last season was the match winner against Swansea City, and his last start came in a 2-1 Championship away win at Reading in December 2020. He returned after a three-month layoff to feature in a series of cameos from the bench.
The former Borussia Dortmund trainee’s fearsome double act with Teemu Pukki, however, was a key plank of the previous Premier League promotion winning season in 2018/19.
Stiepermann scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 43 Championship matches, prompting head coach Farke to label him a 'perfect fit' for Pukki.
Sporting director Webber led the tributes.
“Marco has been an excellent servant for the past four years," he said, speaking to the club's official site.
“He always put the team first, produced many great moments and has been part of some special memories for this football club. To have played over 100 games and to have been part of two Championship-winning sides is a special achievement.
“We will miss Marco. We wish him and his family the best for the future."
Stiepermann’s exit follows the official departure of Moritz Leitner on Tuesday, who was also entering the final 12 months of his City contract.
Fellow midfielders Alex Tettey and Mario Vrancic were not offered new deals this summer.
The futures of Tom Trybull, Josip Drmic and Timm Klose would appear to lie away from Norfolk, with the trio believed to have no part in Farke’s Premier League plans.