'I played with great joy for three years' - Kruse to leave Werder Bremen

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The Bundesliga outfit have stated that the striker will be moving on after spending three seasons at the Weser-Stadion

Werder Bremen have announced that captain Max Kruse will depart the club at the end of the 2018-19 season.

The 31-year-old has spent the last three seasons with the Green-Whites and is the club’s top scorer with 12 goals in all competitions, guiding them to ninth in the Bundesliga with one game remaining.

In an announcement on the club’s official website, chief executive Frank Baumann heaped praise upon Kruse, saying:  "We have always emphasised that we would have liked to continue working with Max. However, he has decided to seek a new challenge after three years.

“For us it was important to have planning security for the new season, this is now the case and we are sure that we will have a strong squad again in the coming season.

“Max came to Werder in a situation at the time in which it was not taken for granted that a player of his quality would go that route.

“He has shaped the club for the past three years, giving the team a face and making a decisive contribution to the development of the club."

Werder’s head coach Florian Kohfeldt went on to describe the Germany international as an “outstanding player” who has “demonstrated over the past three years how valuable he can be for the team”.

“My relationship with him was marked by a high degree of confidence, which may go beyond a normal coach-player relationship,” added Kohfeldt.

“I wish Max all the best for the future. " 

Kruse has called time on his second spell with Werder, having come through the club’s youth system and making his Bundesliga debut in September 2007 against Arminia Bielefeld.

His career has since taken him to St Pauli, Freiburg and Borussia Monchengladbach before joining Wolfsburg ahead of the 2015-16 season – where he remained for one year before returning to the Weser-Stadion.

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The forward went on to score 35 goals in 93 games for the club across three seasons in all competitions, also recording 30 assists.

"I played with great joy for three years for the club and recently proudly led the team as captain,” Kruse said.

“That will forever remain in valuable memory.”