Last Season: 14th
Coach: Thomas Letsch
Squad Valuation: €50.95m
Stadium: Vonovia Ruhrstadion (26,000)
For much of last season Bochum were seen as one of the favourites to go down, but the choice to replace coach Thomas Reis with Thomas Letsch ultimately paid off as the Ruhr side secured Bundesliga football again next season with a 14th place finish to go with their 13th place finish the previous year.
Union used beat Union Berlin, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen at home as well as drawing with Borussia Dortmund at the tail end of the season. They used their raucous home stadium to their advantage and the words ‘commitment’, ‘passionate’, and ‘competitive’ were in regular use when talking about Bochum. The feeling was however that they were rather one-dimensional and predictable with a competitive midfield, long balls played forward to Philipp Hofmann and the pace and long-throws of Christopher Antwi-Adjei a weapon.
Bochum’s third season in the Bundesliga is likely to require them to add a few different layers to their game if they are to once again stay clear of the bottom three. Their transfer dealings thus far have indicated that they are interested in doing just that with an injection of quality players, who can bring something different.
Midfielders Lukas Daschner (St Pauli) and Moritz Kwarteng (Magdeburg) both had very good seasons in the 2.Bundesliga and will be looking to make the step-up to the top flight, while fullback Felix Passlack has been signed from Borussia Dortmund. Further defensive cover comes in the form of Noah Loosli from Arnhem and defensive midfielder Matus Bero, who has signed from Grasshoppers in Zurich.
The spine of the side remains from last season with Manuel Riemann, captain Anthony Losilla, Ivan Ordets in defence and Kevin Stöger in midfield. Thomas Letsch will want to harness the aforementioned strengths of passion, commitment and fight, while at the same time introducing amore skilful Plan B that plays to the strengths of the new acquisitions.
Major signings: Daschner (St. Pauli), Kwarteng (Magdeburg), Passlack (Borussia Dortmund), Bero (Vitesse Arnhem), Loosli (Grasshoppers), Römling (Rot-Weiss Essen), Oermann (Wolfsberger AC)
Major departures: Jannes Horn (Nürnberg), Silvere Ganvoula (Young Boys), Vasilios Lampropoulos (OFI Crete), Konstantinos Stafylidis (released), Kevin Schlotterback (loan end)
Youngster to watch: Moritz Broschinski
The 22-year-old striker made his debut last season after being signed from Borussia Dortmund II and scored on his first appearance as a substitute against Hoffenheim on matchday 19. He added a second on the 5-1 loss to Wolfsburg. All eleven of his appearances came as a sub, and this season he will be looking to get more game time to prove his capabilities at the top level.