Last Season: 5th
Coach: Christian Streich
Squad Valuation: €165.35m
Stadium: Europa Park Stadion (34,700)
Christian Streich continues to work wonders at Freiburg and despite concerns about the number of fixtures and stress on the squad due to playing in the Europa League, the wily coach once again steered the Breisgauer to another successful season where consistency was one of the buzz words. For the whole season it looked like a top four finish was going to be the reward, but they were ultimately squeezed into fifth by Union Berlin.
It is a sign of how well Freiburg overperform that there is a slight disappointment with finishing fifth, even though trainer Streich insisted for most of the season that the goal was 40 points and to avoid relegation. In the end Freiburg achieved far more than 40 points (59) and start another season with their squad largely intact ready for a new push.
The loss of goalkeeper Mark Flekken to Brentford in the Premier League brought in a transfer fee of €13 million, but they have a ready made and free replacement at hand in German U-21 keeper Noah Atubolu. The talented Korean Woo-yeong Jeong has departed to Stuttgart in the search for more regular first-team action, but the feared potential loss of other key players hasn’t materialised yet.
Striker Junior Adamu has signed from RB Salzburg and he will provide the back-up to Michael Gregoritsch, who had an excellent debut season in the Black Forest last season scoring ten goals. Florian Müller arrives as the back-up keeper from Stuttgart, but other than that things have been very quiet on the transfer front at Freiburg.
The new stadium has proved a success, the core of the squad has remained, Christian Streich’s tactics and man management work, so there is every reason to foresee another top seven finish for Freiburg this season. Many other ‘big’ clubs would do well to look at the recipe the Breisgauer use to correct their own shortcomings.
Major signings: Junior Adamu (RB Salzburg), Florian Müller (VfB Stuttgart)
Major departures: Mark Flekken (Brentford), Woo-yeong Jeong (VfB Stuttgart), Lino Tempelmann (Schalke), Nils Petersen (Retired), Jonathan Schmid (Retired)
Youngster to watch: Max Rosenfelder
In recent seasons Freiburg coach Christian Streich has not been afraid to integrate his talented youngsters into the squad with Noah Weißhaupt and Merlin Röhl being given game time last season. This season could be the one where 20-year-old defender Max Rosenfelder gets his breakthrough. Promoted from the U-23 side this season, he can play in a number of defensive positions and will be pushing for his Bundesliga debut.