Last Season: 8th
Coach: Niko Kovac
Squad Valuation: €230.10m
Stadium: Volkswagen Arena (28,736)
The cliché of it being a rollercoaster of a season is one that most definitely applies to Wolfsburg, but it was a ride that left a sour taste in the mouth and one that the club will be desperate to avenge. Having made their worst start to a Bundesliga season in 21 years, the club didn’t panic in the usual fashion by sacking coach Niko Kovac. They were rewarded with the former Frankfurt and Bayern trainer turning things around as the Wölfe steadily climbed the table.
European qualification looked on the cards until a complete meltdown in their final game of the season. The only needed a draw against an already relegated Hertha Berlin at home with the visitors sending out an inexperienced team of youngsters. The 2-1 defeat left the players and fans stunned at the final whistle with all their hard work to recover their poor start ultimately coming to nothing.
The pain of that defeat needs to be used to inspire another tilt at a European place this season. The squad however has been impacted by departures with key midfielder Felix Nmecha lured to Dortmund as Jude Bellingham’s replacement and star defender Micky van de Ven’s top season earning him a move to the Premier League with Tottenham. Omar Marmoush’s departure was long expected and he has switched to Eintracht Frankfurt with fullback Paulo Otavio also making an exit.
There have been signings, but none that would instantly jump off the page and make you really excited about Wolfsburg’s hopes this season. Maxence Lacroix and Sebastian Bornauw may have competition as the first-choice centre back pairing with Moritz Jenz signing from Lorient after impressing on loan last season at Schalke and Cedric Zesiger signing from Young Boys.
Tiago Tomas has signed after an impressive loan at VfB Stuttgart with Vaclav Cerny also coming in for €6 million from Dutch side Twente Enschede. The duo will compete with Kevin Wimmer and Jakub Kaminski for game time in the attack. Hopefully Lukas Nmecha can return to full fitness and have an injury-free season in his brother’s absence, while both Matthias Svanberg and Yannick Gerhardt will look to build upon impressive seasons last year.
Major signings: Vaclav Cerny (Twente Enschede), Moritz Jenz (Lorient), Tiago Tomas (Sporting), Rogerio (Sassuolo), Cedric Zesiger (Young Boys)
Major departures: Felix Nmecha (Borussia Dortmund), Omar Marmoush (Eintracht Frankfurt), Paulo Otavio (Al Saad), Luca Waldschmidt (Köln loan), Micky van de Ven (Tottenham), Joshia Guilavogui (released)
Youngster to watch: Lukas Ambros
The 19-year-old Czech midfielder made his Bundesliga debut as a second half substitute in the matchday 21 defeat at home to RB Leipzig, but was included in the matchday squad on a further eight occasions. He plays in the midfield role behind the front three and has a great deal of technical ability and flair. The product of the Sparta Prague academy will shine if given increased opportunities this coming season.