The Bundesliga is an exciting and well-run league that is third in the UEFA coefficient rankings.
Half the clubs have an average squad age of 25 or under, which shows a heavy emphasis on cheap, young, ambitious and talented footballers. If you were wondering which Bundesliga club has the youngest team, it’s Werder Bremen, with an average squad age of 22.9.
Here are the Bundesliga’s seven best signings—the only prerequisite is the player in question has to be 25 years or younger.
From Cerezo Osaka to Nürnberg for €1.2 million
Hiroshi Kiyotake is a nippy, smart and technically sound footballer.
He could be an elite playmaker, but his ability to beat full-backs and produce incisive passes from awkward angles means he’ll be playing out wide for the foreseeable future.
He isn’t as hyped up as Takashi Usami, but Kiyotake could end up having the better career.
Talking about underrated Japanese footballers, keep an eye on Gōtoku Sakai, Hiroki Sakai and Takashi Inui.
It's sad that Japan's best talents are being whisked away for basically nothing. The J. League need to enroll their clubs in transfer negotiations 101, which will be taught by former Nagoya manager Arsène Wenger.
From Slovan Liberec to Werder Bremen for €2 million
Werder Bremen signed Theodor Gebre Selassie at a bargain-basement transfer fee of €2 million.
He showed mental toughness by rising above racial taunts and establishing himself as one of the best full-backs at Euro 2012 (via The Guardian).
Arsenal, a team that was in need of a right-back, missed the boat on Gebre Selassie.
From Twente to Borussia Mönchengladbach for €15 million
Last season, Luuk De Jong scored a vital header in a 1-1 draw against Ajax. He also dominated against PSV Eindhoven, when he was involved in three goals in Twente’s eventual 6-2 win.
Is he better than reigning Eredivisie top scorer Bas Dost?
Yes he is.
Dost is a limited forward who is reliant on selfless and creative teammates. De Jong can create something out of nothing, is a better passer and a more dangerous goal threat.
The 21-year-old isn’t worth €15 million, he’s worth at least €25 million because he has that x-factor.
From Basel to Bayern Munich for €12 million
At some point in the season, Arjen Robben will suffer an injury or get into a dispute with the club, which will give Xherdan Shaqiri the chance he needs.
Once that happens, Robben may as well find a new club. Shaqiri doesn’t want to be a good player, he’s set on becoming a world-class midfielder.
With a stocky build, quick feet and the ability to score spectacular goals, Bayern Munich may have struck gold.
Even if Robben manages to do a Robin van Persie by staying fit for the entire season, Shaqiri will be a deadly impact sub.
From Borussia Mönchengladbach to Borussia Dortmund for €17.5 million
We already knew Marco Reus was a dynamic wide threat. However, last season, he showed that he was better centrally by becoming a world-class deep-lying forward.
Borussia Dortmund manager Jürgen Klopp opined on the transfer fee (via ESPN): “We got him cheap, even if it was still for €17.5 million.”
Dortmund supporters can forget about Shinji Kagawa. Reus is a better player.
From Nürnberg to Bayer Leverkusen for €5 million
Kicker rated Philipp Wollscheid as the Bundesliga's third-best defender during the 2010-11 season.
How did he perform last season?
Good, but he didn’t live up to the lofty standards he set himself.
Wollscheid has good positional awareness, is defensively solid and can be as good as Mats Hummels.
From Basel to Borussia Mönchengladbach for €8.5 million
Granit Xhaka is Switzerland’s answer to Bastian Schweinsteiger.
In last season’s UEFA Champions League, Heiko Vogel allowed Xhaka to control Basel's midfield play, which was the reason why Xhaka averaged 64 passes per game.
It’s a testament to Xhaka’s ability that he was handed such an important role even though he was just a teenager.
He looked elegant in both games against Manchester United and was consistently involved when Switzerland beat Germany 5-3.
Borussia Mönchengladbach signed Xhaka for only €8.5 million, which is approximately £6.7 million, whilst Manchester City signed Jack Rodwell for £15 million.