Max Meyer has joined Bundesliga strugglers Cologne after his Crystal Palace contract was terminated earlier this month.
Midfielder Meyer, 25, has agreed a deal until the end of the season.
Cologne managing director Horst Heldt told the club website: “The change to FC was only possible because Max was extremely accommodating to us financially.
“He can be used in several positions in midfield, he is intelligent, very good on the ball.
“Max wants to bring that to us by the end of the season and prove his qualities again in the Bundesliga.”
Meyer joined Palace from Schalke in August 2018 and made 56 appearances for the Eagles.
But the Germany international played only once for Roy Hodgson’s side this season, in a Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out defeat to Bournemouth in September.
Meyer said: “For me the perspective was crucial to be able to play.
“I want to use the chance at FC to present myself at the top level and to help keep the club up.”
Cologne are currently two places off the bottom of the Bundesliga in 16th place.