Rode moved to Eintracht Frankfurt as a 19-year-old, helping Frankfurt get through their relegation struggles and into the Europa League. After he moved to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2014, Frankfurt finished ninth in the 2014/15 Bundesliga season and are currently 12th with nine points through eight matches.
"We could never replace a player like Sebastian Rode – with his agility and his play switching ability. From there our goal must be to find a player like that. I don't know how realistic that is."
Rode's move to Bayern has not worked out very well for him thus far, performing only as a squad rotation player in his one-plus seasons in Munich before suffering a hamstring injury in September. Frankfurt have been open about their desire to bring Rode back to the club, even if it is just for a loan. Bruchhagen knows though that recruiting Rode again is probably not in the cards.
"I spoke with Rode twice privately, but I needed not bring up the topic to him because it is unrealistic from a financial point of view," said Bruchhagen.
Rode was not the only Sebastian Eintracht Frankfurt lost that summer. The club also had to sell Sebastian Jung to Wolfsburg before his contract expired, a transaction that may have hurt more considering he was a club trained player. Jung made 30 appearances last season, but has fallen behind Vieirinha in the pecking order at Wolfsburg. Bruchhagen is not happy that two of his best players are now bench warmers for the bigger clubs.
"For clubs that want to further develop themselves, that is a catastrophe," said Buchhagen. "Rode and Jung are players that would give us a chance to win or get points against Bayern. These players are no longer with us and are now sitting on the bench. That is not good for the league."