As Bundesliga clubs begin their winter training, the biggest though unsurprising news out of Germany has been the signing of Borussia Dortmund star striker Robert Lewandowski by Bayern Munich. Lewandowski will continue with Dortmund until the end of the 2013/2014 season before heading to Bavaria to join Pep Guardiola’s championship side. Meanwhile, FC Augsburg, Eintracht Braunschweig, Mainz 05 and St. Pauli have made moves to strengthen their clubs for the upcoming Ruckrunde.
Bayern Munich Sign Lewandowski
Borussia Dortmund have been plagued since summer by the decision of what to do with want-away superstar Robert Lewandowski during the winter pause. After refusing to allow his transfer in the summer, the Polish international had made clear that he would leave the club when his contract expired this coming summer, probably moving to rival Bayern Munich. Now the deed is done. Lewandowski signed a five-year deal with Bayern and Dortmund will receive nothing from the striker’s departure.
Bayern’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on Lewa’s signing
We are very happy that this transfer has gone through, Robert Lewandowski is one of the world’s top strikers. He will not only strengthen our squad, but his arrival will also give the entire club a boost. We’re delighted that both parties have agreed to a five-year contract until 2019
Lewandowski has scored 91 goals in 163 BvB matches in all competitions since signing with Dortmjnd prior to the 2010/2011 from Lech Poznan. During his time with the club, BvB have earned two Bundesliga titles, one DFB Pokal, the DFL SuperCup and a place in last year’s UEFA Champions League Finals. Lewandowski also was on a title and Cup winning side with Poznan — trophies seem to go wherever Lewandowski does.
An Open Letter to BvB fans from Lewa states
Dear BVB fans,
I would like to say a few words to you.
With half a year to go, there are still some goals we want to achieve together.
I hope you will support me, even if some of you don’t agree with my decision! I for one will give my all for BVB!
Yours, Robert Lewandowski.
Esswein to Augsburg
Twenty-three year old Alexander Esswein has joined FC Augsburg from 1. FC Nürnberg. The early transfer window move sees the 6-foot forward a lenthier opportunity in acclimating to his new teammates during training camp in preparation for the upcoming Ruckrunde.
Esswein signed a three and a half-year deal in his move from one Bavarian club to another. The native of Worms made his Bundesliga debut with VfL Wolfsburg, and scored 17 goals in 31 matches for Dynamo Dresden during the 2010/2011 campaign. He joined Der Club the following season, and has featured for Nürnberg in 58 league matches, scoring six times.
FCA Coach Markus Weinzierl noted that
It’s great to have sorted this transfer out so quickly before the start of training. That way, Alex can get to know his new team-mates in our training camp and settle into the squad.
The former German youth international started only one match during Nürnberg’s dismal Hindrunde, and was unable to find the back of the net.
With the arrival of Esswein, Augsburg have loaned out Mathias Fetsch to 2nd division side Energie Cottbus for the remainder of the season.
Eintracht Braunschweig Acquire Nielsen
In an effort to bolster their meager attack, Eintracht Braunschweig have acquired on loan Norwegian international Håvard Nielsen, The 20 year-old striker/winger joins the Bavarian side from Red Bull Salzburg, where he netted three times in 28 appearances. Nielsen began his professional career with Tippeligaen side Vålerenga in 2009, where he featured 46 times, scoring nine goals. The Oslo native has made over 60 appearances for Norwegian national youth sides while earning two caps for the senior squad. He scored his first international goal in a November, 2012 friendly against Hungary.
Kresic to Mainz 05
FSV Mainz 05 has signed Croatian goalkeeper Dario Krešić, 29, for the remainder of the season. Mainz have the option to extend the former Lokotmotiv Moscow man through 2016.
Born in the former Yugoslavia, Krešić played int he youth ranks of VfB Stuttgart before signing with SV Eintracht Trieir in 2002. He joined Greek club Panionios in 2006, leaving for PAOK in 2009. The 6’5″ keeper transferred to Lokomotiv in July, 2012 and played in 17 matches for the Moscow club. He was a member of Croatian national youth sides between 1999 and 32004, and earned a senior squad cap last September in Croatia’s friendly against South Korea.
Krešić, who only made one appearance for Lokomotiv last summer, nonetheless will be in competition for the Mainz’ number one goalkeeper position with young Loris Karius and veteran Christian Wetklo. The Croatian keeper is no stranger to the Mainz’ coaching staff, as he was the youth goalkeeper at Stuttgart when headman Thomas Tuchel was there while current Mainz assistant coach Arno Michels was with Krešić at Eintracht Trier a decade ago.
St. Pauli Sign Trybull
2. Bundesliga side St. Pauli have inked Werder Bremen midfielder Tom Trybull. The Berlin-born Trybull signed a deal with St. Pauli through June 30, 2017.
Trybull, 20, began his senior squad career with Hansa Rostock in 2010 before joining Werder Bremen in 2011. He featured in 21 Bundesliga matches while with Bremen, scoring once. Trybull has also made five appearances for German national youth sides.
Sports director Rachid Azzouzi commented
We were already in contact since last summer and now it has fortunately worked out this winter.. Despite his youth, Trybull has already shown that he is a player who can help us gain some experience in the professional field. He can be used in several positions, thereby increasing our opportunities, especially in the midfield
Armin Veh’s Eintracht side have brought in veteran center back Alexander Madlung. The 31 year-old has almost 250 Bundesliga appearances under his belt with Hertha Berlin and VfL Wolfsburg, scoring 23 goals. Madlung’s new contract runs through the end of the 2014/2015 season.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund have brought in Japanese youngster Mitsuru Maruoka on loan from Cerezo Osaka though the end of next season. The teenager is scheduled to play in 3. Liga for Dortmund’s reserve side. He hails from the same Japanese club that nurtured future BvB star Shinji Kagawa. Dortmund will have the option to make Maruoka’s move permanent.