Last Season: 13th
Coach: Ole Werner
Squad Valuation: €97m
Stadium: Wohninvest Weserstadion (42,100)
Last season was a case of mission accomplished for Ole Werner at Werder Bremen as the club retained their Bundesliga status following their instant promotion from the second tier. It was however a tale of two halves as the Grün-Weißen were the joint worst performing team in the Rückrunde collecting the same number of points as Hertha Berlin (15). The first half of the season had seen them placed 11th at the halfway stage with 21 points.
The season was driven by the goals of Niclas Füllkrug, who finished as the Bundesliga’s joint top scorer with 16 goals- the first Werder player to win the award since Miroslav Klose in 2006. A big question mark hangs over the German international’s future with Werder fully expecting bids to come in for the striker. The fact that his current contract would see him take a pay cut points towards him leaving the Weser Stadion and cashing in on his superb form of last season, which saw him play his way into the German World Cup squad.
His strike Marvin Ducksch has signed a new deal and the club have signed Polish striker Dawid Kownacki from Fortuna Düsseldorf. Any departure for Füllkrug could see Werder make a move for Augsburg’s Mergim Berisha, but until the transfer window closes, nothing can be guaranteed for any club. Bremen also made the headlines earlier in the summer with the signing of midfielder Nany Keita from Liverpool. Attracting a player of Keita’s quality was a real coup and if the 28-year-old Guinean can stay fit, he will surely be a big hit at the Weser Stadion (it is a big if though).
Aside from Keita and Kownacki, there hasn’t been a much in the way of transfer action from sporting director Frank Baumann, so it suggests Ole Werner will largely have to make do with the squad he possessed last season. There were plenty of positives in the Hinrunde, but the coach will be wary about what he saw in the second half of the campaign if Werder are to avoid the dreaded ‘second season syndrome’ and repeat their relegation nightmare season of 2020-21.
Major signings: Naby Keita (Liverpool), Dawid Kownacki (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
Major departures: Lee Buchanan (Birmingham City), Eren Dinkci (Heidenheim loan), Fabio Chiarodia (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Youngster to watch: Nick Woltemade
Werder’s 21-year-old youth product helped Elversberg win promotion to the 2.Bundesliga whilst on loan last season. He contributed ten goals and will want to see whether he can push for some first-team action at the Weser Stadion. Werder’s front line plans will depend very much on the future of Niclas Füllkrug, but Woltemade is a home-grown talent ready to test himself on the Bundesliga stage.