Deadline Day in the Bundesliga: van der Vaart returns to Hamburg, Afellay joins Schalke

HSV and Schalke have chosen to widen their squads on the last day of the transfer window.

HSV fans have been gagging for a bit of good news of late, and it finally arrived on the last day of the transfer window. Rafael van der Vaart, also known as ”the little angle” during his first stint at Hamburg, has decided to re-join the club after his time at Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspurs. The Dutchman played 74 matches for the Red Shorts between 2005 and 2008, scoring 29 goals.

The 29-year-old playmaker expressed his delight when he spoke to the German press earlier today:

This is dream come true, very emotional. I had my best time at the HSV. My entire family is practically German, so to speak. My wife works in Germany, and therefore I’m very happy that everything worked out in the end. But: I’m not superman. I’m not Messi, I’m not Ronaldo. Despite that I’ll try to help the team. I believe that there is a lot of potential within this squad. Now I want to integrate myself into the team as best I can.

It is believed that Hamburg are paying Tottenham a transfer fee of 13 million Euros for van der Vaart. The Dutch international has signed  a contract until the end of the 2014/15 season.

Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink was delighted to welcome van der Vaart to the Imtech Arena:

Rafael is a big personality. He can’t win the matches on his own, however. The burden has to be carried by everybody in the team.

The Dutchman plans on making the trip to Bremen with his new teammates, but he’ll have to watch the match from the stands. Hamburg didn’t manage to put in all the paper work required to grant van der Vaart a players licence for this Saturday. Van der Vaart is likely to appear in his first match in Hamburg’s away fixture against Eintracht Frankfurt next Sunday.

Stevens and Afellay re-united

Schalke manager Horst Heldt had some rather busy days at the office shortly before the transfer window closed. The sporting director managed to send Jurado(joins Spartak Moscow) and Edu(joins Greuther Fürth) away on loan deals, whilst securing Schalke a one year loan of the Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay.

Schalke coach Huub Stevens is overjoyed to be re-united with a his former pupil from his days at Eindhoven, where he coached the Dutch international during the 2008/09 season:

I’m looking forward to have Ibrahim on the team. He has many special qualities, and can fill many different positions on the pitch.

Record spending

The teams in the Bundesliga have spent a total of 240.78 million Euros on new signings in this transfer window according to The previous record hailed from the summer transfer window in 2009(226.34 million Euros).

Other las minute transfers

Yuki Otsu (Borussia Mönchengladbach) –> VVV Venlo

Peter Pekarik (VfL Wolfsburg) –> Hertha Berlin

Nika Rukavytsya (Hertha Berlin) –> 1. FSV Mainz 05

Anthony Ujah (1. FSV Mainz 05) –> 1. FC Köln

Patrick Ochs (VfL Wolfsburg) –> 1899 Hoffenheim

Issac Vorsah (1899 Hoffenheim) –> Red Bull Salzburg

Edu (Schalke 04) –> Greuther Fürth

Ashkan Dejagah (VfL Wolfsburg) –> FC Fulham

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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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