Ligue 1? Done. Premier League? Done. La Liga? Done. Next, to the Bundesliga which gets underway on Friday night. Gladbach and Bayern will compete in the season opener and both teams have new managers. There has been a massive managerial merry-go-round in the Bundesliga and that maybe takes the headlines. That being said though, there are some very exciting signings, and here they are…
Dayot Upamecano to Bayern Munich
Starting then with the defending Bundesliga champions, Bayern Munich. A shoutout first goes to Omar Richards who is another Reading youngster to earn a big step up. One wonders how much football the fullback will actually play but regardless, it is a great opportunity. The name in the headlines is Frenchman Dayot Upamecano who has followed manager Julian Nagelsmann over from close rivals Leipzig. This is yet another example of the Bavarian giants hoovering up all the elite Bundesliga talent, Upamecano maybe being the next generation to come through and replace Jerome Boateng.
Andre Silva, Josko Gvardiol, Caden Clark and Brian Brobbey to RB Leipzig
On to the former location of Upamecano and Nagelsmann then, and it is all change for Leipzig. As well as a number of noteworthy departures, the next wave has arrived including Mohamed Simakan as one of the new centre-halves. The Frenchman is just 21 and along with nineteen-year-old Croat Josko Gvardiol, the pair could establish a solid partnership for many years to come. Youth is the key really for new manager Jesse Marsch who was previously managing Salzburg. The American will be working with two fellow countrymen now as Tyler Adams is joined by another former New York Red Bulls man, Caden Clark. Clark, like Gvardiol is just a teenager and yet he burst onto the scene in MLS and began this season as the key spark under Gerhard Struber. The last two names are both strikers; Brian Brobbey is very young and joins from Ajax on a free whilst Andre Silva is a proven Bundesliga goalscorer. Silva netted 28 times last term and so signing him for just £20 million is ridiculous.
Donyell Malen and Gregor Kobel to Dortmund
Talking of players swapping the Eredivisie from the Bundesliga and whilst Brobbey is somewhat of an unknown quantity, Donyell Malen showed exactly what he is about. The former Arsenal youngster who is represented by the much-maligned Mino Raiola was a walking highlight reel with PSV and a lot is expected of him at Dortmund. Jadon Sancho has of course departed the club so Malen, whilst not a direct replacement, has big boots to fill. Watching Malen linkup with Haaland and Gio Reyna amongst others is an exciting proposition with the Dutchman giving us a glimpse of what he’s about at the Euros. The other man to talk about is goalkeeper Gregor Kobel who is brought after Roman Burki spent a large part of last season injured. It will be fascinating to see how Marco Rose balances the minutes for his two Swiss shot-stoppers.
Lukas Nmecha to Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg were a surprise package in the Bundesliga under Oliver Glasner but despite achieving Champions League football, the manager has moved on to Frankfurt. The incoming man in charge is Mark Van Bommel who is a famous name from his playing days and so there will be plenty of eyes on him. Sebastiaan Bornauw is a young defender who impressed at Koln and so could bring a lot to Wolfsburg but the man under the microscope is Lukas Nmecha. The striker went on loan to Wolfsburg a couple of years back and now they have signed him permanently for £7.2 million. He is yet to become a consistent goalscorer but he could learn a thing or two from Wout Weghorst.
Rafael Borre and Jens Petter Hauge to Frankfurt
Keeping with Oliver Glasner and Frankfurt have had to keep busy in the window so as to fill the gaping hole left by Andre Silva. One man who could step up is Rafael Borre who arrives from Argentina on a free. Due to my MLS and South American footballing interest, Borre is a name who I’ve heard of for River Plate but can’t pretend to know a whole lot about. Given that there is no fee, Borre is a pretty risk-free signing whilst Jens Petter Hauge on loan is just as enticing. Hauge has been in and out of the Milan side under Stefano Pioli and so a spell at a Europa League side like Frankfurt could pay dividends. Hauge on the wing under Glasner is something that I’m looking forward to keeping an eye on.
Sebastian Rudy to Hoffenheim
Schalke’s relegation means that a few of the bigger names will be picked off, one of those being Sebastian Rudy. He has played for Bayern, Schalke and Hoffenheim recently and he re-finds himself at the latter. The German midfielder joins on a free transfer so again there is little risk, it was a poor season for Hoffenheim last time out so Rudy could help towards a bounce back. He made nearly 300 appearances for the club previously and so a return to familiar territory can’t hurt him at all.
Suat Serdar to Hertha Berlin
The penultimate name on the list fits into the same mould as Rudy in that he is returning to the Bundesliga after relegation. Suat Serdar was one of the cogs that kept that Schalke side ticking along but even he couldn’t keep them afloat. He is just 24 but has been kicking about in the German top-flight for a while now. He has four national team caps to his name which shows his level given the competition and it will be interesting to see how he fares in a stronger side. Hertha themselves weren’t great last season either though and so although Jhon Cordoba has left, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jovetic bring experience up front joining Piatek and co.
Mark Uth to Koln
The final man on the list is, yet again, leaving Schalke. Dominant striker Mark Uth lacked any real service for the Gelsenkirchen side and so goals were hard to come by but he is a Bundesliga quality striker at the end of the day. Uth is in the latter stages of his career and is returning to a former stomping ground. Koln is the club that produced him in fact, he was there as a child and now goes back there at 29. He contributed to ten goals in his last season at Koln which was 2019/20 and a similar output would suffice.