If Patrick Helmes remains in Germany, a switch to any of the Top 6 seems unlikely, unless under-pressure Leverkusen boss Robin Dutt believes he could link up as successfully with Stefan Kießling as he did in his first season at the BayArena. The continued presence of the man who initially pushed Helmes out of that team, Erin Derdiyok, makes it a long shot, however.
Thorsten Fink has successfully shored up HSV’s leaky defence, but their wasteful finishing against Augsburg last weekend highlighted their lack of firepower. With none of their forwards having netted more than four times in the league this season, Helmes could be a useful addition at the Imtech Arena in Hamburg.
Outside of Germany, Helmes' style of play would suit life in the EPL or perhaps Ligue Un in France.
New Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill should have money to spend. But, he may prefer to chase his own targets rather than someone fancied by his predecessor, Steve Bruce, as the club continue their attempt to fill the huge gap left up front by the departure of Darren Bent in the last January window.
Or, could Helmes team up with Bent at Aston Villa to form a partnership of pace and power that could ease the pressure on the much-maligned Alex McLeish?
Across the Channel, Helmes was linked with Évian Thonon Gaillard FC in August, and—just two points above the relegation zone—they could do with reinforcements to secure their survival in France’s top division.
If no transfer develops, all is not lost for Helmes. Felix Magath has said that he could return to the side if the team develops an attacking style that would suit the striker.
In reality, however, Patrick Helmes’ Wolfsburg career is probably dependent on the misfortune of his teammates; an injury crisis might mean he gets another chance. And if there’s one thing he doesn’t do too often, it’s miss chances.