Borussia Monchengladbach director of sport Max Eberl is considered one of the most astute recruiting agents in the country and he has excelled himself by bringing in centre-back Matthias Ginter, engine-room holder Denis Zakaria and goalscoring midfielder Vincenzo Grifo. A top-six place has to be a realistic aim.
After leading Hoffenheim to fourth place last term, Julian Nagelsmann now has to prove it was no fluke. One of his biggest problems is how to replace defensive screener Sebastian Rudy who has left for Bayern Munich.
New Bayer Leverkusen boss Heiko Herrlich certainly didn’t plump for an easy option when signing on at the BayArena this summer. They failed to qualify for Europe last term for the first time in eight years – and just to twist the knife, two of their best players, Mexican striker Javier Hernandez and Turkish playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu, have joined West Ham United and Milan respectively.
Much to the dismay of the Cologne faithful, prolific French marksman Anthony Modeste moved to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian. His 25 league goals last season accounted for almost half the team’s total.
Sidelined since February with a metabolic illness, Mario Gotze is back. The scorer of Germany’s winner in the 2014 World Cup Final was involved in 11 league games last season but was in action for Dortmund in pre-season and now needs to play regularly if he is to return to the national squad.
Despite Renato Sanches’ failure to convince in his inaugural season at Bayern Munich, club president Uli Hoeness is determined not to shut the door on the young Portuguese midfielder, stating: “My feeling is that we should give him another year. I’m not for knee-jerk decisions.”