FEATURE | A busy winter window for Bundesliga clubs

Although quiet in comparison to other European leagues, the German market has seen one of the busiest winter transfer windows to date. With 42 incoming transfers and 60 outgoing, Bundesliga clubs have spent €100 million this window, whilst creating an income of €81m. At the same stage last season, top flight German clubs spent as little as €52m. But why?

First of all, obviously there’s not as much money as there is in the Premier League. Secondly, clubs in Germany like to get their business done early. This saying goes for summer windows too. Ideally, sporting directors aim to get their ‘bigger’ deals in prior to the season start in August. Very rarely does a deadline day see lots of movement, as shown last night.

Bayern Munich didn’t bring in a single player over the winter. Other than talk of making Kingsley Coman’s loan move a permanent one, there hadn’t been much talk of any arrivals at the Allianz Arena.

VfL Wolfsburg spent the most money, but it was justified. They waved goodbye to Julian Draxler who joined Ligue 1 champions Paris-Saint Germain after becoming increasingly unhappy – whilst they used that money to sign Yunus Malli, Riechedly Bazoer and Paul-Georges Ntep, whilst Askhan Dejagah also returned on a free. Despite four signings who can arguably make a case for the first team, Wolfsburg made €13.5m profit in the winter window.

Another club that made moves was Schalke 04. Daniel Caliguiri, Guido Burgstaller and Holger Badstuber all arrived. But for spending just €4m, sporting director Christian Heidel has once again worked wonders to get bargains.

The busiest club on deadline day was bottom club SV Darmstadt 98. Of course, they need to make signings to stay up, but with a minimal budget, there’s no doubt that Torsten Frings has improved his squad.

Darmstadt signed the experienced Hamit Altintop on a free transfer after his contract with Galatasaray was dissolved, whilst Patrick Banggaard and Wilson Kamavuaka also arrived on deadline day. After their 6-1 drubbing against 1. FC Köln, Frings made it clear that if players didn’t give 100% in training, then they’d be gone. Florian Jungwirth joined MLS side San Jose Earthquakes whilst Victor Obinna also departed on deadline day. For Darmstadt fans, they can be sure these new signings will do their best to keep their team afloat.

Elsewhere, Bayer Leverkusen arguably got the signing of the winter window. Leon Bailey joined the club from KRC Genk in a €13.5m deal, although this is likely to increase through incentives. Roger Schmidt is getting a player whose directness with the ball can cause teams to back off, and with four goals in six appearances for Genk in the Europa League this season, there’s no doubt Bailey has the potential to become of the best players at just 19-year-old.

Other noticeable deals include 1. FSV Mainz 05 bringing in Robin Quaison and Bojan to replace the outgoing Malli, whilst Borussia Mönchengladbach shored up their defence with the signing of Timothée Kolodziejczak for €7.5m. Neven Subotic departed Borussia Dortmund for Köln on an initial loan deal, whilst Thomas Tuchel’s side brought in Sweden international Aleksander Isak, who has been tipped to reach the heights of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Finally, Hamburger SV have made deals that have perhaps gone under the radar. Sitting in 17th, they needed to shore up their defence, which they have done so. Kyriakos Papadopoulos joined on a loan deal until the end of the season whilst Mergim Mavraj – who played every minute for Köln in the Hinrunde – joined for just €1.8m. Vital at this stage in the season. Lastly, HSV brought in Walace from Gremio for €9.2m, but after spending big on Brazilians such as Douglas Santos and Cleber.

All figures taken from transfermarkt.de.

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