Bundesliga summer transfers: The good, the bad, and the ugly

With the Bundesliga Hinrunde coming to an end and the Winterpause upon us, it seemed the ideal time to take a look black at the big summer transfers and see which ones have turned out to be successes and which have proved more of a flop. Here we bring you the top five transfer impacts and the five moves that have not gone to plan.

The hits

Alejando Grimaldo (Bayer Leverkusen)

Leverkusen got their transfer dealings in the summer exactly spot on with some very astute signings helping them achieve what they have thus far this season. Victor Boniface, Granit Xhaka, and Jonas Hofmann have become key members of Xabi Alonso’s side, but it has been the player signed on a free transfer who can be deemed the biggest success.

Signed from Benfica to help solve the Werkself’s problematic left wing back slot, the 28-year-old has become an ever-present in the table toppers starting XI scoring seven goals and providing five assists. His stunning form has earned him a call-up to the Spanish national side for the first time. It is hard to imagine a better start to a Bundesliga career and the fact he cost nothing is an added bonus for Leverkusen. 

Harry Kane (Bayern Munich)

If you are paying upwards of €95 million for a striker, you would expect some instant return on your investment and in the case of Harry Kane and Bayern Munich that is exactly what the Rekordmeister are getting. Tottenham played hardball in the summer to get top money from Bayern, and it’s clear to see why.

Kane has taken to the Bundesliga with absolute ease scoring from the very outset and not stopping thereafter. He has smashed (at the time of writing) an outstanding twenty goals in his opening fourteen league matches (including three hat tricks) and looks set to possibly even surpass the season scoring feats of Gerd Müller and Robert Lewandowski. He’s become an instant leader on the pitch and given Bayern fans the traditional number nine they craved. A success? Just a little bit.

Xavi Simons (RB Leipzig)

Leipzig don’t normally sign loan players, but they may be coming around to the concept following the instant success and impact they’ve enjoyed with midfielder Xavi Simons so far this season. 

The talent of the former Barcelona and Paris St Germain youngster has never really been in doubt and following an impressive loan at PSV last year, die Roten Bullen brought him in this season. He opened with a fantastic display to help beat Bayern in the Supercup and has carried his form forward throughout the Hinrunde. With four goals and nine assists so far, he has compensated for the absence of Dani Olmo and become an instant hit at the Red Bull Arena. The task now for the Leipzig bosses must surely be to find a way to hold on to him beyond the summer. 

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Deniz Undav (VfB Stuttgart)

Serhou Guirassy has led the way this season with his scoring exploits, but loan arrival Deniz Undav from Brighton has also had quite the impact on the Swabians attacking prowess. He has already helped himself to eight Bundesliga goals so far this season.

He may have started the season as a back-up to Guirassy, but he has quickly forced coach Sebastian Hoeneß to pick him as a regular starter such has been his form and impact. The fact that there is now a discussion as to where his international future lies shows just the impact he has made this season. 

Hugo Larsson (Eintracht Frankfurt)

With the departure of big-name plates such as Daichi Kamada, Randal Kolo Muani, Jesper Lindstrøm and Djibril Sow in the summer, Frankfurt fans could be forgiven for being a little underwhelmed by the arrival of 19-year-old midfielder Hugo Larsson from Swedish side Malmö. The diminutive player has however become an instant hit with his combative and energetic performances.

He may be diminutive, but he certainly doesn’t lack in ability and has even been compared to the way Rodri plays at Manchester City. Eintracht certainly did their homework when scouting Larsson as he has settled perfectly into the Adler midfield and looks very much at home in the Bundesliga. 

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The misses

Naby Keita (Werder Bremen)

Eyebrows were raised everywhere in the summer when it was announced that Werder had signed Naby Keita on a free transfer from Liverpool. Bringing in a player of his calibre was seen as a real coup for the Grün-Weißen and a signal of their intent.

The move however brought a level of risk considering the Guineans injury history and so it proved so far at the Weser Stadion. An adductor muscle injury has limited Keita to just one start this season and two further brief substitute appearances with a total of 81 minutes spent on the pitch. Getting him fit and back to form would be a great help if Werder are to improve their league position in the New Year.

Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin)

The fact that the American youngster is reportedly considering an early return to loan club Leeds United says a lot about his disappointing time in the German capital. He has made just five starts (the last back in October) for Union Berlin and looks to be on the periphery of the first-team.

His initial move to the Premier League with Leeds ended badly and the loan to die Eisernen was supposed to give a fresh start to get himself back on track. He has however stalled and has a big decision to make as to where he sees himself in January.

Mergim Berisha (Hoffenheim)

The €14 million signing of Mergim Berisha may well turn out to be money well spent for Hoffenheim, but thus far the move hasn’t panned out quite the way it was hoped for. He made six substitute appearances for the Sinsheim club (no goals) before suffering a cruciate ligament rupture in his right knee during a training session.

The German international striker’s absence has given a chance to youngster Maximilian Beier, who has taken it with both hands scoring six goals this season. Berisha therefore may face a battle to get into the first-team on his return from injury.

Junior Adamu (Freiburg)

The retirement of Nils Petersen and the need to add some firepower to the Freiburg attack saw the Breisgauer splash out €6 million on RB Salzburg’s 22-year-old Junior Adamu in the summer. He scored ten goals in the Austrian Bundesliga last season, but there has been no sign of a repeat in Germany.

He is on the fridges having not made a single league start and his goals tally remains where it was at the start of the season on zero. Freiburg fans will hope he is a slow burner, who Christian Streich can get the best out of, but so far there has been little return.

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Anwar el Ghazi (Mainz)

He came, he posted on social media and he left.

The former Ajax, PSV and Aston Villa winger looked a decent enough signing for the Nullfünfer, but the relationship soon turned sour when he posted comments online regarding the ongoing situation in Gaza. He was suspended by the club in October following a comment about the conflict in Israel and Gaza but was cleared to return to training after showing remorse. A further post however saw Mainz terminate his contract with the player now threatening legal action. 

About Mathew Burt 1053 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball