Hoffenheim’s New Kids on the Block – Can They Replace die Hoffe’s Big Guns?

The amount of talent produced at Hoffenheim over the years has simply been staggering. Youngsters playing fast attacking football has been the trademark of the team. However, their vibrant displays have seen many of them disappear to other clubs over the years.

If one was to make a list of stars that have left the club over the years, one would find such names as Roberto Firminho, Niklas Süle, Kevin Volland, Luiz Gustavo and Gylfi Sigurdsson on it (just to name a few).

The upcoming season might however represent an extreme situation for newly installed head coach Alfred Schreuder. Three of Hoffenheim’s four biggest sales have occurred during the current transfer period.

German internationals Kerem Dembirbay and Nadiem Amiri have been sold onto Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen, whilst Nico Schulz has joined Borussia Dortmund. Star striker Joelinton was lured by the big bucks of the Premier League and Newcastle United.

All those things combined have led to huge amount of cash filling Die Hoffe’s coffers, but the club has barely spent any of it so far. On the outset it might seem laughable that only €20 million have been spent on new players after the club managed to generate over €110 million in transfer revenues.

Nevertheless, those who have followed Hoffenheim over the years know that the club finds players with potential and then sells them on, usually making a large profit. Results in the table have varied over the years, but that is a price a club with not an awful lot of other revenue streams has to pay if it wants to stay afloat financially.

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The biggest question ahead of the new season is if Alexander Rosen has done his homework this time around as well, managing to bring in players that can help the team to secure a spot close to the European places. Other than Sebastian Rudy there aren’t any star players coming in. So, who are those youngsters who are setting out to set the Bundesliga on fire next season.

Here’s a closer look at Hoffenheim’s five signings besides Sebastian Rudy so far during this transfer window.

Robert Skov – Danish right winger with an upside

The youngster has been compared to Lukas Podolski by FC Copenhagen coach Ståle Solbakken. His vicious left foot can score from just about any distance it seems. Skov doesn’t only use sheer force though. The 23-old-year Dane is a renowned free kick specialist, whose career started taking off after he made a €1 million move from Silkeborg to FC Copenhagen back in 2017.

Skov has scored more goals from outside the box in the Danish Superligaen than any Bundesliga side managed to score from long range in the 2018/19 season. Source: Opta

24 goals and 6 assists in 26 matches in the Danish Superligaen speak volumes about his qualities in front of goal. Playing on the right wing Skov is also not a stranger to cutting from his wing in order to use his left foot to hit the far corner. The trick has worked for Arjen Robben over an entire decade, why shouldn’t it work for this talented Dane as well Hoffenheim seem to be thinking.

Ihlas Bebou – Another talented right winger

How would Hannover’s last season have panned out if Bebou hadn’t been injured for most of the season some Hannover fans might think right now? During the first 11 matches of the season the Togoain striker featured in 10 games, getting 3 goals and 3 assists to his name. The 96’ers took a meager 9 points from those matches, but after Bebou’s injury trouble started, the club only took another 9 points from the next 20 matches without their winger.

Bebou has a considerable amount of Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 experience. However, despite his blistering speed his career has never really taken off. This move might just mean that he finally takes the next step and becomes the star player he hopes to be.

Sargis Adamyan – The new left winger

Signing a player from a Bundesliga 2 side that finished 8th last season might not be the most inspiring of moves. Add to that the player is already 26 year-old and one wonders why on earth a side that has been playing Champions League football last season would sign him.

However, this transfer warrants a glance. The career of the Armenian born Adamyan has taken many twists and turns. He started playing organized football at the age of 12 after his family had re-located to Neubrandenburg in Mecklenburg Vorpommern. His talent was spotted by Hansa Rostock’s youth academy, but after going through the grades there, Adamyan was deemed too light for the senior side.

After a few years in the Regionalliga at TSG Neustrelitz and TSV Steinbach his career path took another turn when he joined Jahn Regensburg in 2017. After a decent first season his star started shining rather brightly last season. 15 goals and 11 assists in 33 Bundesliga 2 matches convinced Hoffenheim that Adamyan was ready for bigger and better things.

Sporting director Alexander Rosen went as far as saying: “Sargis is a fascinating player, who is supposed to challenge for the starting eleven and I think he can be a real surprise in the upcoming season.”

Adamyan scored a hat-trick against HSV last season.

Regensburg might have finished a dreary 8th last season, but that isn’t telling the entire story. Achim Beierlorzer’s team created the most chances out of any Bundesliga 2 sides during the last campaign. Adamyan played a major role in making the Jahn Regensburg attack shine. He was fourth in assists, had the most touches inside the box of any player in the league with 161 touches, and he fired off a staggering 96 shots throughout the campaign.

To read more about Adamyan take a closer look at Manuel Veth’s profile of the player on Futbolgrad.

Konstantinos Stafylidis – The new left back

The Greek international has spent some time in the Bundesliga at Bayer Leverkusen and FC Augsburg. However, despite a number of years in the league he has so far only managed to appear in 53 matches. Injuries have played a huge part in that. Last season was no different, with Stafylidis only featuring in 12 matches for FCA.

Those who have seen him play know him to be a solid left back with good passing skills who can work the left flank tirelessly throughout an entire match. All in all not an exciting signing, but it means that Hoffenheim have gotten their hands on a decent replacement for Nico Schulz.

Alexander Rosen was more than pleased when he announced the transfer, saying:”He is a a forceful and skilled duel player, who also possesses a strong left foot and great playing qualities, which alongside his great fighting spirit are going to suit us rather well.”

Philipp Pentke – The new goalie

Maybe the least interesting transfers of the lot. Pentke is supposed to be one of Olivier Baumann’s back ups after Gregor Kobel left the club. The keeper brings a wealth of Bundesliga 2 and 3. Liga experience to the table, but at age 34 one can’t see him becoming a big star player at the club. However, given the fact that he had a kicker grade average of 2.87 (1 being the best grade and 6 being the worst), it seems like Hoffenheim have signed up a reliable back up keeper.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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