5 Best Bundesliga Transfers so Far
The Bundesliga dominated the European scene in the best possible way during the 2012/13 season, producing an all-German Champions League final.
While the rest of the league tries to catch up, top teams Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund don't look like they'll be letting go of their stronghold anytime soon thanks to solid transfer moves this summer.
As players continue to switch clubs, let's look at the best transfer moves Bundesliga sides have made so far.
5. Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich
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The champions of Europe added serious depth with the signing of Barcelona’s Thiago Alcanatara.
New manager Pep Guardiola didn’t mind crowding the midfield and spending money to do so, doling out €20 million to his former club for the youngster, who was named the best player of the European Under-21 Championships earlier this summer.
But will he get enough playing time to justify his price tag?
Bleacher Report’s Tom Sunderland says yes. Thiago had to deal with a similarly talented midfield at Barcelona and still managed 27 appearances in La Liga. Guardiola, who helped the midfielder get his start, will make sure he sees the field.
4. Heung-Min Son to Bayer Leverkusen
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Heung-Min Son comes from Hamburg to provide more offensive firepower to a Leverkusen side that scored the third most goals in the Bundesliga last season.
The Korean international scored 12 goals last season, ninth most in the Bundesliga. He’ll have to provide those kinds of numbers, if not better, to make up for the loss of Andre Schuerrle, who is now with Chelsea.
The 21-year-old can play both as a striker and a winger. Bleacher Report’s Daniel Edwards provided a scouting report of Son, citing his ball control and vision as strengths.
He also mentioned Son’s powerful shot, adding, “Allied with this brilliant talent while in possession is a wicked shot once he comes to an end of a run, meaning that although Son is not a traditional penalty area forward, his scoring rate is more than respectable.”
Bleacher Report’s Allan Jiang suggested Son hasn’t been given the recognition he deserves. Perhaps he will be given his due with his new club.
3. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Borussia Dortmund
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Another striker, Pierre-Emerick Abuameyang, heads to the club that already boasts the Bundesliga’s top scorer in Robert Lewandowski. However, as Bleacher Report’s Tyler Conway pointed out, Aubameyang will be crucial for Dortmund.
That was, of course, assuming the impending departure of Lewandowski, who has since been denied a move to Bayern Munich. As a result, the Gabonese international will likely be pushed to the bench for now.
Aubameyang was second in goals scored and fifth in assists in Ligue 1 last season, totaling 19 and eight, respectively, for Saint-Etienne. So if Lewandowski is eventually moved some time in the future, he will be ready to take over.
2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan to Borussia Dortmund
Another successful move here for Dortmund, as they add an additional scoring option in Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The attacking midfielder led the Ukrainian Premier League in goals scored last season, netting 25 for league champions Shaktar Donetsk. He will now play in behind the likes of Aubameyang and Lewandowski and alongside Marco Reus and Jakub Blaszczykowski.
Bleacher Report's Tom Sunderland believes Mkhitaryan is one of many reasons Dortmund will be able to contend with Bayern this season. For a €27.5 million transfer fee, he will be expected to do so.
Unfortunatley, Mkhitaryan got off to a poor start with Dortmund, sustaining an ankle injury that will cause him to miss the start of the season according to Yahoo! Sports. Seeing their star midfielder injured should be a familiar sign for Dortmund fans, whose team ended last season in a similar fashion with the next man in this group.
1. Mario Goetze
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I was referring, of course, to Mario Goetze, the man Mkhitaryan is replacing at Dortmund. Goetze sat and watched the Champions League final due to injury as his new team beat his old team, 2-1.
The €37 million move announced in April has now become official this summer, making Goetze the most expensive transfer ever for a German player.
Along with Thiago Alcantara, Goetze has now given Bayern all sorts of the depth in central midfield, as he will join a group that includes, among others, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez and Toni Kroos. While Thiago will have to bide his time, Goetze should start in the central attacking midfield role.
One of the bright young stars of the game, Goetze is not only the best signing made in the Bundesliga, but one of the best by any club in any country. The only thing that seems to be able to slow him down are injury concerns. If Goetze stays healthy, the European champions will be even scarier in 2013/14.