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2017-18 Bundesliga Preview: Hertha Berlin taking an offensive approach

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But will depth be an issue for Hertha?

Hertha BSC v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images for Deutsche Bahn

As part of our season preview, we will be profiling all 18 clubs in the Bundesliga, and how we think they will fair during the coming season. Today, we will be focusing on Hertha BSC.

LAST SEASON

Hertha BSC got off to a solid start in Bundesliga play last season, beginning with an 8W-3D-4L record through the first half of the season. Led by striker Vedad Ibisevic, Hertha sat in third place heading into the holiday break.

Ibisevic scored eight goals and added three assists over the first 16 matches for Hertha. But at the start of the second half, Ibisevic lost his scoring touch, netting only four goals in the next 18 matches.

With a lack of offensive production, Hertha stumbled over the finish line by losing eight of its final twelve matches to finish 15W-4D-15L.

TRANSFER SUMMARY

Transfers in

  • David Selke (€8 Million)
  • Mathew Leckie (€3 Million)
  • Karim Rekik (€2.5 Million)
  • Jonathan Klinnsman (Free)
  • Valentino Lazaro (Loan)

Transfers out

  • John Anthony Brooks (€17 Million)
  • Florian Kohls (Free)
  • Alexander Baumjohann (Free)
  • Sami Allagui (Free)
  • Nils Korber (Loan)
  • Allan (end of loan)

OUTLOOK

Losing John Anthony Brooks over the summer will be no easy void to fill, but Hertha have adequately managed to plug the hole at the back with the addition of Karim Rekik. The former Man City academy starlet was plucked from Marseille for a low price and comes in with high expectations.

The rest of the defense remains intact from last year, with goalkeeper Rune Jarstein returning following his 100-save season last year. Jarstein also kept 11 clean sheets over the course of 2016-17. The club remains deep at full back. In central defense, Sebastian Langkamp and Niklas Stark will continue to man the defense with Rekik slotting in when available.

In the midfield, Per Skjelbred and Vladimir Darida will again be the two main central midfielders while Valentin Stocker will be crucial in building an attack. The striking weakness in midfield for Hertha is lack of depth in midfield. Just seven midfielders are on the squad list for Hertha and with competition in the UEFA Europa League this fall, injuries would force some squad adjustment for the Berlin club.

Fortunately, there will be no shortage of offense for Hertha this season. The club’s three main transfers in were all attacking options. Leckie and Lazaro will help on the wings while Selke could serve as another striking option. With Salomon Kalou aging, it’s likely that the left winger could move deeper into the formation and play mainly as a left midfielder.

At striker, Selke and Ibisevic are joined by Julian Scheiber up front. With only 43 goals scored last season, Hertha could definitely use the offensive boost they got in the summer transfer window.

PREDICTION: 6th Place

With the Bundesliga looking to be slightly more competitive than last year, Hertha will remain in the sixth spot. At the start of the season, European competition will kill the team’s stamina while testing its depth. After the first half of the season ends, however, Hertha, with some reinforcements brought in during the winter window, could make a run towards a top five spot after an abysmal start to the year.