Talk­ing Points

World Soccer - - SeaSon Preview -

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.”

re­turn...mario Gotze

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