Since the beginning of the summer break, Bundesliga clubs have been signing new players like crazy and we were keen to point out three signings that we regard as the most attractive so far. In this sense, we might not go for the most obvious purchases, but for those that we see great value in.
In the defensive midfield position, Johannes Geis was one of last season’s standout performers for Mainz 05. Consequently, his impressive displays did not only earn him plaudits, but also genuine interest from a number of clubs including Italian giants AC Milan. However, in the end, it was struggling Schalke who snapped up the German youngster for a fee of €12 million, which might sound high in Bundesliga terms, but might just as well turn out to be a great bargain.
The 21-year old comes with the experience of having already featured in 75 Bundesliga matches. Last season, Geis was particularly impressive, with four goals, four assists and only four yellow cards in 34 games. Even more impressively, the youngster started every single Bundesliga game for Mainz, captaining the side on three occasions. With a passing accuracy of over 74% and a tackle success rate of over 52%, the defensive midfielder was an above average performer. With close to 1,500 passes during the season, which is well above the average of around 380 for Bundesliga midfielders, Geis can be regarded as a player keen on reading the game with intelligence. Schalke have certainly not just bought great potential, given Geis’ age, but also an already experienced and valuable footballer.
Another interesting 21-year old who transferred within the Bundesliga is Mitchell Weiser, the youngster Bayern Munich bought from 1.FC Koln in 2012. In Munich, Weiser failed to progress and became one of many young players who damage their development by transferring to Germany’s most famous club. The young German has now moved on and joined Berlin-based Hertha BSC on a free transfer. The right-sided midfielder was once regarded as one of Germany’s brightest talents and will finally have the opportunity to prove his worth. In some ways, this is a gamble for Hertha, given that Weiser has only played in 17 Bundesliga games. On the other hand, betting on a tricky and talented midfielder at zero cost might be worth that gamble. In the 17 games that Weiser managed to play, he was well above average in terms of passing and tackle success rate; this will be encouraging for the Hertha faithful.
Finally, we look at Max Kruse, one of the blockbuster signings of the summer so far. The German international swapped Borussia Monchengladbach for VW-backed VfL Wolfsburg for a fee of €12 million, after spending two seasons at Borussia Park. An elegant and somewhat different type of forward, Kruse is arguably not the greatest goalscorer, but someone who opens up opportunities for his teammates by exploiting gaps in defences. Last season, Kruse scored 11 goals and provided nine assists in 32 Bundesliga outings for Gladbach. With a passing success rate of over 80% and an above average amount of touches, the German is clearly a striker who likes to get involved in the team’s build-up play. This will be incredibly beneficial to his teammates at Wolfsburg and although many pundits downplay the player’s value, he will certainly add a new dimension at the Bayern-chasing club.