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Looking Around the League: The Transfer Window Opens!

It’s time to look at the good, the meh, and the ugly of the transfer window.

FC Bayern Muenchen Unveils New Signing Sadio Mane Photo by S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Hey everyone! As most of you know, the Bundesliga Transfer Window opened on July 1st and will run until September 1st. Despite the window only being open less than a week, many Bundesliga clubs have already wrapped up deals. So, let’s take a look at the good, the meh, and the bad from the window so far.

The Good

The reigning champions Bayern Munich have had a busy summer so far. Despite seeing both Niklas Süle and Corentin Tolisso leave on free deals, the Bavarians have had quite a successful silly season so far. The biggest addition to the Bundesliga in the coming season is the roughly 40-million-dollar acquisition of Liverpool Superstar Sadio Mane. Despite being on the wrong side of 30, Mane was a vital player for Liverpool and Senegal this past season and will add to an already lethal attack. This, coupled with the free signing of right-back Noussair Mazraoui and 25-million-dollar midfielder Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax, means the Bavarians will continue to be favorites to win the league. The future of Bayern’s Lewandowski, however, remains uncertain as he looks to leave Bavaria in true Lewandowski fashion. If his move to Barcelona were to go through, it would add some spice to the title race.

SC Freiburg v RB Leipzig - DFB Cup Final 2022 Photo by Roland Krivec/vi/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Despite Bayern boasting the biggest acquisition this summer, the best bit of business occurred with everyone’s favorite energy-drink-conglomerate-turned-sports-franchise as RB Leipzig has kept Christopher Nkunku. Nkunku was easily the Bundesliga’s player of the season last year and was directly involved in 54 (54!) goals across all competitions. Despite having interest from every club in the Milky Way, the twenty-four-year-old agreed to a 2-year extension. The Saxon team has also signed Xaver Schlager for around 15 million dollars from Wolfsburg. Leipzig will also likely sign another midfielder or two following the rumored sales of American international Tyler Adams to Leeds and Konrad Laimer to Bayern Munich. It’s a good day to be a Red Bull drinker as Leipzig look to mount a title push.

From energy drinks to pharmaceuticals (please don’t mix the two), Bayer Leverkusen has also had a good summer so far as they announced a contract extension for Florian Wirtz until 2027. Although he is recovering from a ligament injury, Wirtz is still regarded as Germany’s best young talent and will hopefully continue to grow into a lethal player for Leverkusen. ‘Die Werkself’ also added to their attack with the signing of Adam Hlozek from Sparta Prague for around 15 million. Hlozek is regarded as a top talent and was rumored to be a Dortmund target prior to the signing of Haller. With Hlozek playing alongside Patrik Schick up top for Leverkusen, it will be hard for Bundesliga defenses to keep them in Czech. I’m sorry, I had to.

The Meh

Eintracht Frankfurt, the only German team besides Bayern to win a trophy in the 21st century, is being tossed in the meh category because their business so far has been nothing but risky. They’ve confirmed the buy options for Jens Petter Hauge from AC Milan and Kristijan Jakic from Dinamo Zagreb. Neither were overly convincing in the Bundesliga last year but perhaps they will be able to build off last season. Their big additions so far have been Lucas Alario from Bayer Leverkusen and Mario Götze from PSV Eindhoven. Both players were signed for relatively low transfer prices, are now on three-year contracts, and are towards the latter stage of their careers. Alario was involved in only seven goals across 33 Bundesliga games last season and will need to produce a lot more to lift Frankfurt up the table. It also remains to be seen if Götze can cut it in the Bundesliga following a difficult spell for us over two seasons ago and I’ve heard murmurs from PSV fans that he often looked behind the pace in the Eredivisie. The loss of Martin Hinteregger, who retired from professional football in bizarre circumstances, leaves Frankfurt needing to find someone to cover at center back for over 2200 minutes in the league. Will Götze and Alario prove me wrong? Potentially. Will Frankfurt do better than eleventh in the league next season? No clue. What do I think about their transfer business so far? Meh.

Next on the list of meh transfer windows is Schalke. On one hand, they’re a newly promoted team who have done some decent business to prepare for the Bundesliga. On the other hand, they’re poor. They were unable to pay around 6 million dollars for Ko Itakura, the Japanese international defender who was instrumental in their promotion. This is a huge loss to Schalke but there was very little they could do considering they don’t have the money. His replacement is his fellow countryman, Maya Yoshida, from Sampdoria on a free transfer. While I like this move, Yoshida is thirty-three and he’s going to have to do a lot of work for Schalke if they hope to stay in the league.

Schalke also signed Sebastian Polter from Bochum, another elder statesman who scored 10 goals in the league last season. Both are shrewd moves that could blow up in the smurfs’ faces, but that is often how it goes for newly promoted teams. The most pressing thing for Schalke is what to do with guys like Amine Harit, Ozan Kabak, and Rabbi Matondo who all spent last season on loan. All three of these guys hold sizable contracts made prior to Schalke’s relegation and were an integral part of the Schalke team that got relegated. It remains to be seen if Schalke will look to sell them on or reintegrate them into the squad. Regardless, the situation is pretty meh.

The Ugly

Borussia Moenchengladbach v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Let us all take a moment and be thankful that we chose the right Borussia team. I’m saying this because is nothing short of an absolute disaster right now. The Foals, unfortunately, lost their phenomenal sporting director, Max Eberl, who stepped down following a stint in Mönchengladbach that lasted over two decades. They fired head coach Adi Hütter following a lackluster season and were then snubbed by none other than Lucien Favre who was rumored to be hours away from signing a contract. Their coach is now Daniel Farke who oversaw two promotions and (essentially) two relegations with Norwich. Previously mentioned Ko Itakura is the club’s only notable signing of the season, and he is tasked with replacing Freiburg-bound Matthias Ginter, one of BMG’s best players of the past decade. Now it’s rumored that Yann Sommer, Ramy Bensebaini, Marcus Thuram, and Alassane Plea all want to leave the club as they each have one year left on their contracts. If BMG cannot hold on to these star players, and it almost certainly looks like they cannot, then they are in for a rough season. For these reasons, Mönchengladbach is my sole nomination for the ugly category because they truly are in an awful league of their own.

Do you think my list is correct? What did I get wrong? How does Dortmund compare to other Bundesliga teams’ business? Let me know below!