BUNDESLIGA TRANSFER REVIEW – PART 4

This is the final of Ryan O’Grady’s four-part series looking at each Bundesliga team’s summer transfer window in depth. Fourth and Final part of our transfer review sees us look at the teams who finished last season in 13th-16th as well as the two newly-promoted sides.

Eintracht Frankfurt:

Arrivals:

Frankfurt’s inability to sign Joselu permanently from 1899 Hoffenheim was a blow to new boss Thomas Schaaf’s preparations. However they have managed to bring in some other stickers in this window, Haris Seferovic for example who cost £2.82 million from Real Sociedad. He is a promising young striker who din’t much game time in Sociedad due to his poor goalscoring record but he did score a vital goal for Switzerland in the World Cup against Ecuador and has already scored 3 goals for Frankfurt, 2 in the league and 1 in the DFB Pokal. Another signing upfront is veteran striker Nelson Valdéz from AL-Jazira who spent 5 season in the Bundesliga from 2005 to 2010 with Werder Bremen and then Borussia Dortmund. He has never been prolific anywhere he has gone but will be able to pass on invaluable experience to the younger strikers such as Seferovic. The loss of midfielders like Pirmin Schwegler and Sebastian Rode meant that the midfield needed strengthening as well and it is in this area that Frankfurt have arguably done best. Japanese national team Captain, Makoto Hasebe, was brought in from relegated FC Nürnberg on a free transfer whilst Slobodan Medojevic was brought in from VfL Wolfsburg for £1.32 million and Lucas Piazon, who is believed to be a star of the future was brought in from Chelsea on loan for one season. Sebastian Jung’s departure created moves for both Timothy Chandler and Aleksandar Ignjovski to be brought in as right-backs from FC Nürnberg and Werder Bremen respectively.

Departures:

The main departure this year was Midfield Maestro Sebastian Rode who left for FC Bayern Munich on a free transfer after agreeing a contract back in early 2014. He is a very versatile player whose main position is holding midfield but he can play further forward or even in either full-back position. The other two biggest departures this window were Sebastian Jung, who left for VfL Wolfsburg for £2.2 million, and Captain Pirmin Schwegler, who left for Hoffenheim for £1.67 million. Jung was one of the most talented players in the team and with Philipp Lahm’s recent retirement from the national team he is likely to be first choice for Germany for years to come. Schwegler was the undoubted leader of the team and from the centre of midfield he was almost a second manager. His departure sparked complaints from the Frankfurt supporters who saw it as a lack of ambition from their side. Apart from those two there weren’t many significant departures, maybe Marvin Bakalorz who moved to SC Paderborn for £132,000 and has helped them to brilliant start and they were top of the league at one point. Other notable departures include Tobias Weis who was brought in on loan last year after falling out with Hoffenheim’s coach but he only played 4 games for Frankfurt before returning to Hoffenheim and he now plays in the 2nd division with VfL Bochum.

Summary:

The club suffered some damaging departures this summer with the likes of Rode and Jung leaving and they haven’t really replaced them with talent that is at a similar level. Frankfurt should probably expect a similar season to last year, finishing at the lower end of mid-table. However the signing of Lucas Piazon is a plus point and the club will be hoping that he can produce for them this season.

SC Freiburg:

Arrivals:

By their own standards Freiburg spent quite a lot this summer, £9.37 million in total. Around a third of that money went on star signing Admir Mehmedi who signed from Dynamo Kyiv after spending last season on loan with Freiburg and impressing. Freiburg pulled off quite a coup by managing to sign the 23-year old as he was hot property following his loan spell there. They also signed goalkeepers Roman Bürki and Sebastian Mielitz from Grasshoppers and Werder Bremen respectively after Oliver Baumann left for Hoffenheim. With the departure of young talent Matthias Ginter replacements were required and they signed Stefan Mitrovic for £1.32 million from SL Benfica and Marc Torrejón for £1.06 million from FC Kaiserslautern. Another impressive signing for Christian Streich’s side was the return of Sascha Riether after 10 years away from the club, he joined from Fulham FC. Other arrivals included 19-year old Marc-Oliver Kempf from Eintracht Frankfurt and Dani Schahin on loan from FSV Mainz 05.

Departures:

Last summer the Freiburg team that qualified for the Europa League was torn apart after most of their best players left. Two players who stayed were Matthias Ginter and Oliver Baumann but both have left the club this summer. Ginter finally succumbed to the advances of Borussia Dortmund and left for £8.80 million, whilst Baumann made the relatively short journey to Sinsheim to join up with 1899 Hoffenheim. Another important player who has departed is Gelson Fernandes who left for Stade Rennais of France for £1.41 million. A surprising departure saw Mike Hanke leave on a free transfer for GZ Renhe of China. Marco Terrazzino also left Freiburg on a free transfer for VfL Bochum, he had unfortunate time at Freiburg where he did show his talent on occasion but suffered badly from multiple injuries. Other departures include Vaclav Pilar and Francis Coquelin who returned to VfL Wolfsburg and Arsenal after their respective loan deals had ended.

Summary:

Whilst signing Mehmedi on a permanent deal is huge for Freiburg, the losses of Ginter and Baumann will be massive and it remains to be seen whether they can recover from it. In the first few weeks of the Bundesliga they have seemed to struggle for goals as well so perhaps, like Frankfurt, they can expect a similar finish to last season.

VfB Stuttgart:

Arrivals:

Over half of Stuttgart’s entire spend this window went on winger Filip Kostic who cost £5.28 million from FC Groningen of the Netherlands. At 21 he seems to have a bright future ahead of him after scoring 11 goals last year in the Eredivisie. He has so far been unable to show what he can do due to injury but he came on as a substitute in the recent draw against Dortmund. Another significant outlay for the Schwabian club was £2.20 million for Daniel Ginzcek from FC Nürnberg. A former Dortmund youth player he has certainly shown promise in his young career but has never really got the game time wherever he has gone. Another signing from Nürnberg saw the transfer of Adam Hlousek for £1.06 million. Other arrivals Florian Klein arrive from RB Salzburg on a free transfer.

Departures:

Stuttgart only made £440,000 this window from outgoing players and all of that money came from the transfer of Rani Khedira, younger brother of Sami Kheditra, who moved to RB Leipzig. The rest of all their departures were free transfers or loans. Arthur Boka signed for Málaga CF, Ibrahima Traoré signed for Gladbach. Cacau signed for Cerezo Osaka of Japan whilst William Kvist signed for Wigan. An interesting loan deal saw Australian youngster Marco Rojas sign for Greuther Fürth.

Summary:

The signing of Kostic is exciting and along with Ginzcek they look to have added some decent young talent to the likes of Timo Werner and Daniel Didavi. However they have lost some important players like Traoré and Boka and with Cacau they have lost a player with vast experience who is a legend of the club.

Hamburger SV:

Arrivals:

Hamburg spent over £25 million on new talent for this season and the most expensive player on the list was Pierre-Michel Lasogga who made his loan move from Hertha permanent for £7.48 million. Last season it was Lasogga along with the now departed Çalhanoglu who kept Hamburg up. They will be hoping that he can kick on and become one of the best strikers in the Bundesliga. Nicolai Müller was also signed this summer but he arrived from Mainz for £3.96 million. He has had a really good last couple of seasons at Mainz where he scored and assisted a whole heap of goals and Hamburg will be wondering if he can do the same at the North German Giants. Valon Behrami is a very good signing from SSC Napoli for only £3.08 million, he is a tough-tackling robust midfielder and will give Hamburg the steel and determination they need in the middle of the park. In a somewhat surprising move they signed Brazilian centre back Cléber Reis from Corinthians for £2.64 million. Considering they had the worst defence in the Bundesliga last year it is a questionable move to sign a player who has no experience of Bundesliga football. Johan Djourou’s loan move from Arsenal was made permanent but he hardly convinced last year which makes it somewhat surprising. Matthias Ostrzolek also signed for the North German club from Augsburg for £2.42 million. Winger Zoltán Stieber was signed from Greuther Fürth for £1.14 million after impressing against his new side in the Bundesliga Relegation/Promotion Play-off. Two of Hamburg’s most exciting signings were made late in the window, Julian Green and Lewis Holtby. Green may have arrived on loan from Bayern without Bundesliga experience but he already has a big reputation fro the Bayern youth teams as well as playing for the USA at the World Cup. Holtby was brilliant in his time at Schalke but his time at Tottenham was less successful and soon after he signed for Fulham on loan Felix Magath was made coach soon after and the pair don’t have a great relationship so Holtby hardly played. If he can recover the form he showed at Schalke then Hamburg will have replaced creative spark Çalhanoglu.

Departures:

As mentioned earlier, Hakan Çalhanoglu is the biggest loss after he left for Bayer Leverkusen for £12.76 million. His rise to fame in the Rückrunde last year was the main reason Hamburg stayed up after he pulled out some fantastic performances against the likes of Dortmund. Milan Badelj also departed the club, leaving for Fiorentina for £3.52 million but he didn’t really feature in the second half of last season. Dennis Aogo and er Ciljan Skjelbred both left after their loan deals to Schalke and Hertha respectively were made permanent. Other departures included Michael Mancienne who returned to England with Nottingham Forest and Robert Tesche who will join Mancienne at the East Midlands side.

Summary:

Hamburg have spent serious money to try and avoid the horror that was last season. The permanent signing of Laosgga will be vital to Hamburg’s ambition to kick on. However if holtby can’t fill Çalhanoglu’s boots then Hamburg could struggle to create chances for Lasogga and could struggle again and 5 games into this season Hamburg have yet to score and manager Mirko Slomka has already been sacked.

FC Köln:

Arrivals:

The Billy Goats most expensive signing was Simon Zoller who cost £2.64 million from fellow Bundesliga 2 side FC Kaiserslautern, he scored 13 goals last year as Kaiserslautern just missed out on promotion but he has now moved to the Bundesliga anyway. In something of a surprising move midfielder Kevin Vogt moved from Augsburg for £1.58 million, it’s the kind of move that show how much stature Köln hold in German football even though they have just been promoted. Another very promising youngster in the Bundesliga is Chelsea loanee Tomás Kalas who looks like he could be John Terry’s eventual replacement. Another striking addition this summer was Japanese international Yuya Osako who signed for Köln after only 6 months with 1860 Munich. He has already opened his account in the Bundesliga and looks like he will be an important part of Peter Stöger’s side. This summer also saw the return of Slawomir Peszko who left Köln when they were last relegated from the Bundesliga.

Departures:

Hardly any significant departures from the Rhein-Energie Stadion this summer, Kacper Przybylko was probably the most significant signing for Greuther Fürth where he has already opened his account for his new side.

Summary:

The Billy Goats really want to stay in the Bundesliga this year and reestablish themselves at the top of German football and they have made some very good signings. The non-sale of young keeper Timo Horn is already paying dividends as Köln have only concede one goal this season. They should easily stay up this year with the decent squad that they have added to.

SC Paderborn:

Arrivals

Along with Werder Bremen, Paderborn spent the least amount of money on players this year, £1.41 million. Moritz Stoppelkamp cost £660,000 from 1860 Munich. 22-year old Elias Kachunga only cost £264,000 from Borussia Mönchengladbach which is the same amount they paid for Stefan Kutschke from VfL Wolfsburg and Marvin Bakalorz cost £132,000 from Eintracht Frankfurt. Promising young striker Marvin Ducksch has also been signed on loan from Borussia Fortmund and he along with Kachunga will hopefully provide the goals Paderborn need. Other arrivals include both Idir Ouali and Lukas Rupp on free transfers from Dynamo Dresden and Borussia Mönchengladbach respectively.

Departures:

No real departures of note for Paderborn, which is hardly surprising considering it’s the club’s first season in the Bundesliga so why would players want to leave.

Summary:

Before the season Paderborn were clear relegation favourites with no outstanding players and very little money spent but their start to the season has shocked everyone. They currently sit 7th with 8 points from 5 games including wins against Hamburg and Paderborn which now makes relegation less certain than before but they are still one of the favourites for the drop.

RYAN O’GRADY

Click on Ryan’s name above to follow him on Twitter

Advertisements