Who is Marcel Hartel? – A player profile

Who is Marcel Hartel? – A player profile

FC St. Pauli has signed Marcel Hartel. The 25-year-old comes from the 1. Bundesliga from Arminia Bielefeld and will strengthen the attacking midfield, but especially the eight-position. As usual, nothing is known about the modalities of the transfer or the duration of the contract.
(Titelbild: imago images/via OneFootball)

The story so far

Marcel Hartel learned to play football in Cologne, where he was born in 1996. At the Effzeh, he played in all youth teams from 2002 to 2015. He was runner-up twice with the U19s in the Bundesliga’s usual strong West Division, and in 2014/2015 he gained his first experience with the U23s in the Regionalliga West. In the two following years, Hartel shuttled between the U23 and the professional team of 1. FC Köln. While he played and scored regularly in the U23, he did not collect more than a few minutes in the 1.Bundesliga: In two years and eight appearances, he was on the pitch for a total of 160 minutes (also due to a spitting attack in the derby).

This was followed by what usually happens to talented players if they do not quickly make the breakthrough in the 1st division: Marcel Hartel moved to Union Berlin in the 2nd division for the 17/18 season. In retrospect, this move can be described as absolutely right. Hartel was a regular player for Union right at the beginning of the season and in September he was invited to play for the U21 national team. In the following season, too, he was usually in the starting eleven. However, and this was also the case the season before, not at the end of the season. Nevertheless, the end of the season was quite ok: 1.FC Union Berlin was promoted in the relegation.

Marcel Hartel, however, remained in the 2nd division and moved to Arminia Bielefeld for the 19/20 campaign. There he probably played his strongest season in the professional league, scoring a total of 13 goals and thus playing a major role in Arminia’s promotion. After a few years of misalignment, he was able to secure a regular place in the 1. Bundesliga. In the 20/21 season, however, Hartel did not stand out with his goal contributions (not a single one in 22 appearances), but with his running performance (behind Vladimir a.k.a. “the lung” Darida, Hartel is in second place in terms of running distance). After the change of coach in Bielefeld from Uwe Neuhaus to Frank Kramer, however, Hartel lost his regular place. After the end of the season, it was clearly communicated that he could leave the club if a suitable offer was made.

Blasphemy! Hartel tunnels Jan-Philipp Kalla, Marvin Knoll in the background.
(imago images/via OneFootball)

Goal of the year and guarantor of promotion

It is now certain: FC St. Pauli will be promoted this season. Marcel Hartel has been promoted with Union Berlin and Arminia Bielefeld and since, as we all know, good things come in threes, we can carefully chill the drinks. Marcel Hartel played a significant role in both promotions.


He hasn’t been a goal scorer in recent years, but he proved that he can score goals with this goal of the month (which was even voted goal of the year).

I cannot provide a Skills & Highlight video on Marcel Hartel. But in some videos, you have the opportunity to learn something about him off the pitch (here and here, for example).


Since it was announced early on that Hartel would be allowed to look for a new club, there were already some transfer rumours. One lead went to Schalke 04, but they finally reached an agreement with Eintracht Frankfurt and Rodrigo Zalazar (which already gives an indication of Hartel’s position). Personally, it’s not entirely clear to me why Hartel has only now found a new club. I am very surprised that there seems to have been a lack of interested parties from the “top shelf”, especially in the second division. Whatever may have been going on in the background, Marcel Hartel is now at FC St. Pauli. Time to get to know him better.

A top transfer like that of Marcel Hartel also requires top expertise so that we can better assess the player. To this end, I have conducted three short interviews. Daniel Rossbach (textilvergehen) offers a tactically based assessment. If there is such a thing as a “neutral” 2nd division expert, then it’s probably Eva-Lotte Bohle, who follows the division for the 2BundesligaPod – and is also an Arminia Bielefeld fan. And finally, Tim Santen, who has already been a guest on the VdS/NdS podcast a few times, will provide an insight into Marcel Hartel’s last two years at Arminia Bielefeld – and we will start with him.

BLASPHEMY!!! Hartel tunnels Schnecke again.
(imago images/via OneFootball)

Hello Tim, Marcel Hartel and FC St. Pauli. Does that fit?


Tim Santen: Yes, a fine technician who can take the audience with him. Good for moments of surprise.

Hartel has recently lost his regular place. Why? Do you think the 1st division is a bit too high for him?

Tim: The latter question can be the answer to the first question. In the 1st Division, he, unfortunately, couldn’t prove his qualities as a provider of assists. Certainly, speed also plays a role here. Against the nimble Japanese Doan and later Okugawa, he was at a disadvantage.

What kind of guy is Marcel Hartel off the pitch?

Tim: I’ve never met him in person, but I’ve heard that he’s very easy-going and flaky. Rarely at a loss for a joke and good at the console.


Moin Eva, you know the division really well – is the transfer a win-win situation for both sides?

Eva-Lotte Bohle: I think that Hartel could be a good fit for St. Pauli, both as a person and as a player. As a second division club with a certain stability and a longer stay in the division, which you also want to leave at some point, St. Pauli fits very well with Hartel’s last stations at Union Berlin and just at Arminia.

Why did it no longer fit with Arminia Bielefeld?

Eva: I believe that Marcel Hartel will no longer be a regular player in the Bundesliga in the long run. That seemed to be Union’s thinking at the time, and even though Hartel played 19 games under Uwe Neuhaus, he lost out to Frank Kramer in a positional duel with Arne Maier. In terms of play, he was no longer able to call up the same quality as in the 2nd division, which may also be due to the fact that the teams in the Bundesliga are stronger and more consistent in their pressing and Hartel simply lacked the time to pull off his play at one point or another, which led to some ball losses. Hartel was also the designated set-piece scorer for DSC for some time and unfortunately, that didn’t work at all.

Do you think he’ll do better in the second division?


Eva: Definitely. He proved that well at both Union and Arminia. St. Pauli has also shown that they can deal well with creative players in midfield. In general, I think St. Pauli is a better team for him than Schalke because I think Hartel works better in teams that don’t have a lot of upheaval behind them.

FC St. Pauli is looking for reinforcement in attacking midfield in the short term and on the eight in the long term. Can Marcel Hartel play both?

Eva: I don’t think the eight is really feasible for Hartel, but I never really saw him play that position in Bielefeld. Hartel is the aforementioned creative midfielder who doesn’t stay in one spot and sometimes works at the back, but nominally he’s not a real eight. Whether he can still really learn that, I can’t judge conclusively, but in the Bundesliga, there was definitely no time and no room to retrain him as an eighth.

What are his strengths? And where can he still improve?

Eva: His strengths are definitely passing in-depth, his dribbling and his high passing accuracy in midfield. He definitely needs to work on his set-pieces and his shooting technique, unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to do anything like that since his wonderful goal in the Union shirt against Cologne. 


He could also improve his defensive work a bit more.

Hello Daniel, I have a question for you too: Marcel Hartel is moving to FC St. Pauli. Do you think the change is right?

Daniel Rossbach: I don’t have an exact picture of how the FCSP squad is made up. But at least from one perspective, it fits: Hartel has developed into a kind of Simon Terodde in the attacking midfield in recent years, i.e. someone who has a very good individual level in the second division and can help good teams a lot. And as far as I can tell, his strengths also fit quite well with St. Pauli.

What are Marcel Hartel’s strengths on the pitch?

Daniel: On the one hand, these strengths consist of being very active and technically good at the second division level, and on the other hand, of being able to reel off a large workload. He is always on the move in midfield, likes to challenge for the ball and has the self-confidence to try crazy things with it (at least that was the case during his time at Union). These actions are then very lively and Hartel is able to assert himself playfully under pressure and thus create space and opportunities for his team.


And where can he still improve?

Daniel: The weaknesses that come with it are almost a bit cliché for such a player. Hartel doesn’t always have an overview of the spaces into which they are most effective. And losing the ball in the process can be dangerous, even if Hartel himself is also defensively committed. And you’ve already noticed yourself that he could be more goal-threatening – notwithstanding the fact that he scored one of the top 5 Union goals of all time (against Cologne).

Why didn’t Union keep him after promotion in 2019?

Daniel: I don’t think that only had to do with him, but also with how Union developed in the transition to the first division. In the first season there, they played a very clear style with deep but aggressive defending and little ball carrying, especially in the centre. For players like Hartel or Akaki Gogia, it was foreseeable that they would not play too much.

In addition to the attacking midfield, FC St. Pauli can also use someone who can play in the half positions in the diamond. Can Hartel do that?


Daniel: Especially in Bielefeld, Hartel played deeper than at Union and drove the game more in a slightly deeper/earlier phase. I didn’t observe exactly how that was structured defensively, but I can imagine that it can work in such a position. The workload mentioned also helps: Hartel can run a lot, also in combination with intensity. So maybe that can compensate for deficits in defensive overview, ideally if there are other people in the team who can bring that along.

Dear Eva, dear Daniel, dear Tim, thank you very much for your time!

Hartel in Arminia Bielfeld kit in the match against SC Freiburg.
(imago images/via OneFootball)

One Hartel – Two Positions!

With the signing of Marcel Hartel, FC St. Pauli is strengthening itself, no question about that. But it is not so clear on which position he is strengthening. Hartel can help directly in the attacking midfield and can therefore be seen as a replacement for Lukas Daschner and Etienne Amenyido, who have been injured for a long time. However, what happens when Amenyido and Daschner are fit? And what about Daniel-Kofi Kyereh? Marcel Hartel certainly didn’t join FCSP as a bench player. In the short term, he could possibly help out on the ten. In the long term, Marcel Hartel will play in one of the two half positions in the diamond, I’m sure of that. The reports in many media that FCSP has now signed a Daschner replacement are therefore not nonsense, but rather misleading. Because it does neither Marcel Hartel nor Lukas Daschner justice when these players are compared to each other.

Based on what Eva, Tim and Daniel said, we can look forward to a really strong player who brings above-average second league level. At 25, he still has a few years ahead of him and has already proven that he can help a second division club enormously. Timo Schultz has recently made it relatively clear that transfers in the current phase will only be made if these players improve FC St. Pauli’s quality enormously. There are many indications that this is the case with this transfer.


Welcome to the Millerntor, Marcel Hartel!

//Tim (translated by Arne)

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3 thoughts on “Who is Marcel Hartel? – A player profile

  1. Klingt alles wirklich gut (Hut ab Herr Bornemann!), nun hoffen wir mal nur, das Hartel nicht wie der ja auch als Sofortverstärkung angekündigte Irvine erstmal wochenlang alleine seine Runden aufm Trainingsplatz dreht….

  2. Klingt erstmal gut. Aber. Wer ist der Dritte Mann zwischen den Pfosten?
    Einen schönen Freitag, und
    Hamburg ist Braun Weiss 🙂

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