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Paqarada to make Bundesliga switch this summer

Leart Paqarada has decided not to extend his contract with FC St. Pauli, which expires at the end of the current season. The left-back has agreed to join Bundesliga club FC Köln next term.

Director of sport Andreas Bornemann said Paqarada had never made a secret of his dream of playing in the Bundesliga: "With this in mind, it wasn't too much of a surprise when he informed us of his decision to join FC Köln. The progress Leart has made at FC St. Pauli is further proof that the idea behind improving players with potential at FC St. Pauli is working.” Bornemann brought Paqarada to the Millerntor in 2020. 

Paqarada said: "I’m very grateful to FC St. Pauli because I've been able to take a big step in my footballing and personal development here in the last three years. It's hard to say goodbye, but I'm also happy to be able to realise my dream of playing in the Bundesliga." Addressing the fans, he said he would "do everything to repay the love you've shown me with all my heart and passion until the final minute."                    

The left-back joined the Boys in Brown in August 2020. Since then, he has made 85 competitive appearances for the club, scoring five goals and providing 20 assists. Since the start of the 2022/23 season, he has also captained the team along with Australian Jackson Irvine.