5 Best Bundesliga Signings from 2014 Summer Transfer Window
The I's have been dotted, the T's have been crossed, the agents have been paid and the medicals have been done. The German transfer window has finally slammed shut, and we have a new Bundesliga season, one awash with faces new and old in familiar jerseys.
Each of the 18 clubs in the division have signed players aplenty, with big stars coming and going from leagues across Europe.
Yet now we get to decipher all the numbers and decide just which clubs picked the right player and made the best bit of business. Here are the five best Bundesliga signings from the 2014 summer transfer window.
5. Lewis Holtby
In kicking off our list, we have indeed found ourselves in the company of an old friend of the Bundesliga who has decided that England just wasn't for him.
The old German mainstays of the Bundesliga were in desperate need of something new this season following their escape from the grasps of relegation last year, and Holtby may just prove vital to transforming this team into something that looks almost organised.
The club tried this with Rafael van der Vaart recently, but Holtby is a man with much more to prove and a much grittier side to his game. Where the expensive Dutch luxury swanned through games for the northern side, Holtby will hopefully roll up his sleeves and again prove why he was such a star at Schalke not too long ago.
4. Xabi Alonso
Next in our list we have Xabi Alonso, the former World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League winner who decided to join a whole host of Spanish players arriving at Bayern Munich in this transfer window.
The former Liverpool central midfielder stands out amongst a number of gifted players to arrive in Munich this summer simply because he figures to become one of Pep Guardiola's most important players in this coming campaign.
With Toni Kroos going in the opposite direction to Real Madrid and Javi Martinez now injured for the foreseeable future, Alonso has walked into this side instantly and became the focal point of every passing move.
This may not become so clear-cut once Bastian Schweinsteiger regains his fitness, but we can be sure of Alonso's presence in this Bayern side each week as long as Guardiola is still calling the shots.
3. Hakan Calhanoglu
Bayer Leverkusen look like a very interesting team in the Bundesliga this season. They've brought in a young, exciting coach in Roger Schmidt, they're now playing fast, aggressive football, and above all else, they've managed to sign Hakan Calhanoglu from Hamburg.
At just 20 years of age, Calhanoglu already looks like the finished article. Playing as a fully committed No. 10 in Schmidt's 4-2-3-1 formation, the Turkish international has already been at the heart of convincing victories over Borussia Dortmund and Hertha Berlin.
Not since Andre Schurrle once roamed the wings for the Factory Squad have Leverkusen had a player of such obvious skill, technique and confidence to push the club onwards. If this team wants to start challenging Dortmund or even Bayern, this is the guy to help them do it.
2. Adrian Ramos
Considering all the incredible talent that Dortmund were able to sign up over the summer transfer window, it may seem rather odd to consider Adrian Ramos—a striker from recently promoted Hertha—to be the best of them all.
Yet despite all the obvious technique, flair and (quite frankly) sexy football that Jurgen Klopp's side will hope to play this season, it will undoubtedly be this powerful striker who will prove to be the deciding factor as to whether it can score as many goals as it once did under a certain Polish forward.
Ciro Immobile is the purists' first choice, and Shinji Kagawa will undoubtedly be the fans' favourite, but it is Ramos in his honest, simple ability to finish and header the ball better than most who will surely finish this season as Dortmund's top goalscorer and probably end up being one of their most important players in this coming campaign against Bayern.
We all knew it was going to be him, didn't we?
Going from the best player who didn't play for Bayern to the best player who now does play for Bayern, Robert Lewandowski is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world and an incredible signing for the Bavarian club.
Critics will point out that this is just the usual tactics from the Munich club—signing up all the opposition—but in Lewandowski, Bayern have a striker that could have walked into any team across the continent. They had every right to sign this player.
Scoring 20 league goals in a most turbulent of seasons for Dortmund last year, the Polish international has now joined one of the few teams in the world that could possibly allow him to add and improve that tally.
At just 26 years of age, Lewandowski has his whole career ahead of him and could quite possibly be a Bayern legend in the making before too long and a player who has and could well continue to dictate where the Bundesliga title ends up in May.