The new season is almost upon us and most Bundesliga clubs have done the majority of their transfer business already- although the window doesn’t officially close for another three weeks.
The multitude of sporting directors and managers have spent the summer trimming their squads and hunting high and low for the best players at the best prices to improve their rosters ahead of the new 2015/16 season.
But which of the big clubs has done the best business this summer? Who has spent wisest and improved their squad in the necessary areas? Here we take a look at the wheeler dealers in the Bundesliga and evaluate their transactions.
Schalke/ Horst Heldt (B+)
It’s a new start at Schalke under trainer Andre Breitenreiter and Heldt has made it clear that he wants to appease the fans following a disappointing campaign last season, and bring back a more attractive style of play to that witnessed under Roberto Di Matteo.
In: Johanes Geis (€10.5 million), Junior Caicara (€4.5 million), Franco Di Santo (€6 million), Matija Nastasic (€9.5 million- permanent from loan)
Out: Christian Fuchs (free), Papadopoulos (€6.5 million)
The capture of the highly promising talent of Johanes Geis was a coup for the Königsblauen and the U-21 international will have an important role to play. The problem right-back position has been strengthened with the arrival of Junior Caicara from Ludogorets in Bulgaria, while the club then surprised a few people with the capture of Franco Di Santo from Werder
All three players will bring something extra to the squad, with the success of new coach Breitenreiter very closely linked to how Heldt will judged.
Bayern Munich/ Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (B)
When you cruise to the league title with the ease in which Bayern did last season, it is have difficult to identify areas that need strengthening, but the Bavarians have certainly not rested on their laurels and are arguably even stronger going into the new season. The bad news for the rest of the league is that Rummenigge has splashed the cash once again and brought real quality to the Allianz Arena.
In: Douglas Costa (€30 million), Julian Green and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (loan returns), Joshua Kimmich (€8.5 million), Sven Ulreich (€2.5 million)
Out: José Reina (€2 million), Bastian Schweinsteiger (€10 million), Mitchell Weiser (free)
Douglas Costa from Shakhtar has already shown in pre-season that Bayern fans have a real gem on their hands and that the injury absences of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben on the flanks can be more than compensated by the new Brazilian. Both Hojbjerg and Kimmich enjoyed great seasons last time round, but will perhaps struggle for minutes at Bayern. The sale of Schweinsteiger was deeply unpopular with fans and Bayern I feel could have done with a centre-back.
Borussia Mönchengladbach/ Max Eberl (B)
The task for Gladbach this season is to build upon the success enjoyed last season and take the club forward. As such, sporting director Max Eberl has looked to boost Lucien Favre’s playing personnel with the quality needed to deal with the added burden of Champions League football and the task of challenging Bayern for the title.
In: Andreas Christensen (loan), Josip Drmic (€10 million), Nico Elvedi (€4 million), Lars Stindl (€3 million)
Out: Max Kruse (€12 million) Amin Younes (€2.5 million), Christoph Kramer (loan end)
Drmic for Kruse was a like-for-like transaction, so it’s hard to argue the forward line is better than last season. It was a little surprising that U-21 international Younes was allowed to join Ajax, but the signing of midfielder Lars Stindl looks like a very good bit of business with a fee of juts €3 million involved. The signing of Thorgan Hazard on a permanent deal at the end of last season was also a big plus for the Foals. Another Chelsea link could also prove beneficial with Danish defender Christensen adding quality to the back four.
Borussia Dortmund/ Michael Zorc (B-)
A new era has begun under Thomas Tuchel and fresh players were needed for the new trainer to be able to stamp his mark on BVB rather than trying to simply remould the Jürgen Klopp players. While Michael Zorc has provided a few additions in key areas, his holding onto the likes of Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been one of his main tasks this summer.
In: Roman Bürki (€3.5 million), Gonzalo Castro (€11 million), Julian Weigl (€2.5 million)
Out: Ciro Immobile (€3 million loan), Milos Jojic (€2.9 million), Mitch Langerak (€3.5 million)
Swiss keeper Bürki was one of the stand-outs from last season while at Freiburg and is tipped to usurp Roman Weidenfeller. The capture of Gonzalo Castro has to be seen as a huge plus after he enjoyed probably his best-ever Bundesliga season last year. The signing of young Julian Weigl from 1860 Munich, while it has gone under the radar a little this summer, could prove a highly astute move if his performances in pre-season are anything to go by. Getting shot of Italian flop Ciro Immobile was also a shrewd move on the part of Zorc.
Wolfsburg/ Klaus Allofs (C, watch this space)
Die Wölfe will be expected to be the club to give Bayern the closest challenge this season, but they will largely rely on the squad that impressed so much in the second half of last season. Evaluating the success of Klaus Allofs in this summer’s transfer window will have to wait until the conclusion of the on-going Kevin De Bruyne saga. Will he? Won’t he? Should the talismanic Belgian leave, you’d have to think the club would have an adequate Plan B.
In: Max Kruse (€12 million), Coen Casteels (loan return), Carlos Ascues (€1.5 million), Francisco Rodriguez (€1.2 million)
Out: Xizhe Zhang (€2 million)
Max Kruse from Mönchengladbach is a smart move from the club and he’ll surely replicate or better his goal output from his time with the Foals. Again, much will depend if he is getting the service from the assist-meister De Bruyne or not. Casteels looks like the long-term successor to Diego Benaglio, but may have to wait to get a regular run in the side. I get the feeling VfL are not finished doing business in this transfer window.
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