Christian Streich and his group of youngsters are part of the Bundesliga once again.
Like most relegated teams, Freiburg didn't want to get to comfortable in the second division of German football and they made sure that their stay in the 2.Bundesliga was short-lived. They secured the first place and their promotion in rather convincing fashion, finishing first overall and generally being the best team in that league all-year. Considering that most relegated teams need a year or two, or sometimes even longer, to get accustomed to the rather rough and physical style of football that is the norm in the second division, this accomplishment is impressive.
On the other hand, Freiburg is sadly used to bouncing around both leagues seeing that last years relegation was the fourth one in the last 20 years. However their fighting spirit and excellent youth academy, which is one of the best in Germany, has allowed them to bounce back every time.
Now they will try to beat all-odds placed against them once again and surpass some teams with significantly more financial leeway. It will be interesting to see if this squad filled with intriguing young prospects like BVB-loaned Pascal Stenzel can stand their ground.
So does another relegation battle await or will they surpass all expectations?
Transfers in (fees per transfermarkt):
Caglar Söyüncü - Altinordu ( €2.5 Million)
Janik Haberer - TSG Hoffenheim ( €2 Million)
Onur Bulut - VFL Bochum ( €1.2 Million)
Manuel Gulde - Karlsruher SC ( €1.2 Million)
Jonas Meffert - Bayer Leverkusen ( €1.2 Million)
Rafal Gikiewicz - Eintracht Braunschweig ( €1 Million)
Aleksandar Ignjovski - Eintracht Frankfurt ( €0.75 Million)
Thoughts: Uncharacteristically Freiburg has spent a lot of money on new signings. Usually it is Freiburgs agenda to promote players from their youth academy, develop them and then sell them with a profit.
Söyüncü is a very talented center-back that was on the radar of many European clubs, it will be interesting to see how he develops in Freiburg. Gulde is a more experienced CB that will also compete for minutes in a surprisingly crowded defense. Bulut, Meffert and Haberer are all talented players that seem like typical smart Freiburg pick-ups that can really thrive. Gikiewicz and Ignjovksi are curious transfers, both of them are good players but none of them are better than the players that are already there, namely GK Alexander Schwolow and right-back Pascal Stenzel or Mensur Mujdza.
Christopher Jullien - FC Toulouse ( €2.8 Million)
Stefan Mitrovic - KAA Gent ( €1.5 Million)
Immanuel Höhn - SV Darmstadt 98 ( €0.75 Million)
Tim Kleindienst - 1.FC Heidenheim (on loan)
Zack Steffen - Columbus (Free Transfer)
Konstantin Fuhry - SV Elversberg (Free Transfer)
Vegar Eggen Hedenstad - FC St. Pauli (Free Transfer)
Thoughts: Jullien played for FCO Dijon in the French Ligue 2, the second French division, last season. His great performances caught the attention of several French teams with Toulouse winning the race for him, surprisingly Freiburg decided not to take him back. Mitrovic is another player that was loaned out and now sold.
Immanuel Höhn is the only player that left that actually was an integral part of the squad last season. Seeing that Freiburg has made some smart transfers for the center-back position it shouldn't be to hard to make up for his departure.
Like every season in the first league, it will be a tough one for Freiburg. Barring any unexpected spikes in performances, they will probably fight a relegation-battle until the very end. The good news for Freiburg and their fans, if you're superstitious, is that they've never been relegated in the first season after their promotion, so there's that. Personally I'll be keeping a close eye on them, not just because I like the club, but also because usually Freiburg has one or two players that turn out to be future stars in their squad. With a talented and young squad this should at the very least be a fun club to watch.