A new Bundesliga season is about to kick off. The race of 34 games that will more than likely be very tight. There are four Champions League spots available, and one of those seems to be clinched for Bayern Munich, as they have conquer the Bundesliga title for eight straight years, since 2013. Four teams were involved in the battle for the three remaining positions in the last two seasons. We go through all of them below:
The Signal Iduna Park´s team faces the 2020-2021 season after finishing in the second spot last year with a short points distance towards their pursuers (three points from Leipzig and six from Leverkusen, which were 5th). Moreover, they finished 13 points behind Bayern Munich. Definitely not a good outcome for a club that is supposed to be fighting for the Bundesliga title with Bayern. However, according to German media ‘Bild’ the Board of Directors have decided to keep Lucien Favre, who is the current coach, until his contract expires in 2021, even though they thought about firing him.
Due to the pandemic, multiple European clubs have suffered economic issues that affect their transfer market moves. Dortmund is not an exception and their total expense for now has been the 25M € for Jude Bellingham, an English midfielder who is 17 years old and comes from Birmingham City. They have also added Thomas Meunier as a and free agent and Reinier on a loan from Real Madrid. We also have to clarify Jason Sancho´s situation, as he is a key placer for Dortmund and he is close to sign for Manchester United. His selling price would be 120M, according to the media, which is more than enough to look for substitutions in the market.
Borussia Dortmund are expected to reach the second position without too much struggle, and even to put Bayern in trouble. However, the technical area of the club have not proved to do their job right, according to the results. The roaster have the tools to do well. For example, forward Erling Haaland,who can´t stop improving on his scoring numbers. Furthermore, promising players such as Reinier, Reyna or Bellingham can bounce into important roles in the next few months. It is clear that neither the club´s or the fans´ambitions will be decreased.
With only 11 years of history, the ‘Red Bulls’ have consecrated into one of the biggest clubs in the Bundesliga. Last season, they managed to stay in the first spot during the first round of the season thanks to an excellent team performance. However, they were unable to keep the momentum and ended up having to conform with the 3rd position. Moreover, they experienced their most successful run ever at any European tournament by reaching the semifinals at the UEFA Champions League. We must remind you that their first ever participation at this competition took place in the 17-18 campaign. The biggest architect of this achievement is their coach, Julian Nagelsmann. The 33 years old trainer has developed in just one season an ambitious playing style that has worked out. The german bets on a high pressure and fast transitions. His system is another interesting characteristic: not rigid at all and it adapts itself to the game circumstances.
However, Nagelsmann has lost one of his key players in this transfer market: Timo Werner. The scoring leader of the team signed for Chelsea early in the summer. This way, he was not part of the squad anymore by the time they disputed the ‘Final 8’ format in Lisbon. Another one that has left is Patrik Schick, who ended his loan agreement. The man that seems to stay, despite the interest in buying him from several European clubs, is central defender Dayot Upamecano. He has a huge potential and no doubt that it will be great news for Leipzig if he finally stays.
Only three weeks away from the transfer market deadline, Leipzig have not added too many new players. We must highlight a new loan on Angeliño, who is a key part of Nagelsmann´s system. Furthermore, they have strengthened the right back position with Benjamin Henrichs, loaned by Mónaco, and they have also signed the German talent Lazar Samardžić, who comes from Hertha BSC. They have only recruited forward Hwang Hee-chan in order to add up to Werner´s and Schick´s numbers, which does not seem enough. However, players like Sabitzer, Dani Olmo or Nkunku are staying too. The ‘Red Bulls’ will be firm candidates to get a Champions League spot.
‘The Foals’ have paid tribute to their nickname more than ever before since the club earned it in the 70s, their most successful era: five Bundesliga titles, two cups, two UEFA cups and a Champions League final. Mostly featured by a fast an aggressive playing style by then, Gladbach´s current system is also based on this two concepts. This is coach Marco Rose´s credit, who has earned a Champions League spot in his first season at the club by finishing at the 4rd position, only four points away from Dortmund.
The squad has young and attractive tools to work with that, in addition to Rose´s management, make this a fun team to watch. Nico Elvedi, Denis Zakaria, Florian Neuhaus or Marcus Thuram (Lilian Thuram´s son) are some of those talents. The two main signings for next season are Hannes Wolf and Valentino Lazaro, both on a loan. The first one can play as a second or pure striker and was already under Rose at Salzsburg. On the other hand, Lázaro is aa right back that did not performed his best last season: he left Inter Milan in January after not being a starter and Newcastle recruited him on a loan, but he did not succeed either. Back in the Bundesliga, maybe now he returns to his highest level that made Inter to sign him.
The fans are happy with the outcomes coach Rose has obtained so far: they have recovered the dynamic game that worked out perfectly some years back and they have also returned to the Champions League. Even though expectations are high, he looks like the right man to lead the team and dream with big goals. The squad has barely suffered any changes at the moment, but this could be negative if we take into account that they are now in three different competitions. All in all, this group has proved to have reasons to get excited, so we will have to keep our eyes on them.
Leverkusen ended last season on the 5th spot only two points away from Gladbach. The BayArena´s team will play the Europa League, a competition that they already disputed last year after finishing 3rd in the Champions League group stage. Their run ended at the quarter-finals against Inter Milan. Moreover, they managed to qualify to the DFB Pokal final, but they could not get the trophy. Just like Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen do not have their best player anymore, Kail Havertz. The 21 years old second striker has also signed for Chelsea. Another important player that has left is forward Kevin Volland. There are also talks ongoing for Lucas Alario. In that case, they would loose their three most important players forward for the last two seasons.
Coach Peter Bosz should not be too worried, but it is true that he needs a decent replacement for Havertz. Actually, the attacking area has been strengthened with an explayer for Leipzig, Patrik Schick. The Czech striker comes to provide the team with goals and substitute Volland. He has been the only signing so far, but the club has more than enough budget to complete several transfers after earning 80M for Havertz´s sell. However, due to the situation caused by the pandemic that affects all clubs, Peter Bosz could choose to give more prominence to players that are already part of the team. Their roaster has some talented names on it and they are capable of taking a step forward. Paulinho, Leon Bailey, Moussa Diaby or Tapsoba are some of them. The spotlights are on a specific guy: Florian Writz. The young promising player , who is only 17, is the new hope both for the club and the fans. The gaol at BayArena can´t be other one but ending in the top four on the Bundesliga table.