5 Best Bundesliga Signings Just Before the Close of the Transfer Window
As the transfer window slammed shut across Europe on Monday night, the world of football was firmly placed in its exuberance and sheer fascination at the situation unfolding in the English Premier League. Yet across the continent, deals were being done and finalised right up until the final moment—and none more so than in Germany's Bundesliga.
Although most of the big-money signings were done earlier in the summer with the likes of Mario Gotze, Thiago Alcantara and Henrikh Mkhitaryan all signing on the dotted line in the midst of the holiday period, some clubs, players and agents chose to wait until the very last moment to commit themselves to new pastures for the forthcoming season.
Here are the top five Bundesliga transfers that went through in the nick of time on Monday night.
The first and perhaps most obvious transfer that took most by surprises in the dying moments of this summer's transfer window was of course the signing of AC Milan central midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng by Schalke.
Signed for a substantial fee, almost immediately after the club learned their fate in the forthcoming Champions League group stages, Boateng and his entourage were efficient enough in their dealings to ensure everything was in place to allow the flamboyant midfielder a place in Saturday's starting XI against Bayer Leverkusen.
As we saw at the Veltins-Arena on Saturday afternoon, the ex-Milan midfielder slotted in as if he'd been there all along and was incredibly instrumental in helping his side to the unforeseen 2-0 win over in-form Bayer.
Boateng was a smart signing by Schalke that will surely prove as successful across the season as he showed last Saturday.
From a player joining Schalke at the last minute to one who has left the club with little hesitation, Tranquillo Barnetta turned a few heads with his late loan move to Eintracht Frankfurt.
A player who was clearly surplus to requirements at Schalke after joining the Royal Blues in an unusual deal from Leverkusen the season before, Barnetta only featured 22 times throughout a tricky domestic and European campaign last season.
He now joins Armin Veh's side, which has struggled to regain its form of old, in the hope of integrating himself into the team and again proving himself as a competent Bundesliga forward.
As a simply loan deal, there seems to be very little risk on Frankfurt's side as they look for new options to aid them in the coming campaign.
Thomas Schneider was the name on everyone's lips this weekend as the interim coach took over at Stuttgart for the first time since former coach Bruno Labbadia was relieved of his duties the week before. Stuttgart responded with a stunning 6-2 victory over high-flying Hoffenheim.
The result proved enough to change the mood around the club completely and vitally pulled the side out of the relegation spot with their first set of points for the season, yet the new coach didn't seem content with the side as defender Karim Haggui was brought in at the last minute from Hannover.
A clear replacement for Serdar Tasci, who moved to Spartak Moscow beforehand, Haggui joins the reformed side in the hope of establishing himself as the Swabians' key central defender on an initial two-year deal after losing his spot in the first team at Hannover.
One of the Bundesliga's biggest transfers of the summer was that of Luis Gustavo, who made the short move to Wolfsburg from Bayern Munich in the hope of first-team football.
As we know, football is a game of chain reactions and predictably that move eventually resulted in Makoto Hasebe, one of Wolfburg's key defensive midfielders last season, forcing a move to FC Nurnberg in light of his current position at the squad being threatened.
The 28-year-old Japanese international is a strong Bundesliga talent and actually made the move to Nurnberg within a situation that could work out incredibly well for not only himself, but his new employers.
In four games in the Bundesliga this season Nurnberg have yet to pick up a win, yet with Hasebe slotted into midfield, we may finally see the side perform with a little more structure and solidity in the center of the pitch that has been sorely missing of late.
As one of the odder transfers to have graced the Bundesliga in the past few days, Pierre-Michel Lasogga's loan move from Hertha Berlin to Hamburg has caught most off guard as fans and neutrals struggle to figure out whether it was an astute signing or simply one of desperation.
Hamburg's clear problem this season has been their lack of depth up front, with only two goals in their first four games of the season. In Lasogga the northern club have a young, hungry striker desperate to prove himself at one of the country's most renowned clubs.
Yet were opinions divide is exactly what the German Under-21 striker can offer a club that really should be looking beyond the reserve benches of one of the Bundesliga's recently promoted clubs.
Of course, at 21 years old, Lasogga has plenty of time and potential to offer Hamburg, yet his lack of game time in last season's promotion campaign, despite scoring 13 as a bright 19-year-old the season before when Hertha were still in the Bundesliga, will concern most.
However game time shouldn't be a problem at Hamburg and if he can reproduce anything close to his form for the capital side two years ago, he'll no doubt finish the season as one of the Bundesliga's most astute signings.