Sancho and Werner next? How the PL’s Bundesliga imports rank…

Date published: Thursday 13th February 2020 1:36

These are the Bundesliga imports for the last five years to have cost over £10million, which means the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Loris Karius and Yoshinori Muto all escape judgement…


N/A) Jean-Philippe Gbamin (Mainz to Everton) – £25m
The midfielder only joined Everton in the summer, since when he has been injured for all but a game and a half. Give him a chance…


22) Abdul Rahman Baba (Augsburg to Chelsea) – £14m
Baba has had a beastly five years as a Chelsea player. The Ghana left-back made 23 underwhelming appearances under Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink before spending two-and-a-half years struggling at Schalke. A more positive period at Reims encouraged some interest last summer and prompted Chelsea to offer him a one-year extension to his contract. But despite reported interest from Marseille, Baba was dispatched to Real Mallorca for another season on loan. The 25-year-old managed 109 La Liga minutes before yet further injury woes which have plagued him since moving from Augsburg in a deal which could have cost the Blues £18million; there now seems no prospect of any of those add-ons being met.


21) Kevin Wimmer (Cologne to Spurs) – £18m
The centre-back was wretched for Spurs in two seasons at White Hart Lane but Spurs made £15million back from Stoke, where he was even worse. The Potters conceded 34 goals in 14 starts before Mark Hughes was sacked. Paul Lambert dispatched him to Hannover, who were relegated while refusing to play the defender for fear of triggering an obligation to buy him permanently.


20) Joelinton (Hoffenheim to Newcastle) – £40m
The curious case of Joelinton. Newcastle smashed their transfer record for their new no.9 last summer but the blockbuster deal had reportedly been agreed last February. Though by then the Brazilian had only five Bundesliga goals and never in his career had he reached double figures in the league. So what did Newcastle see in him that made the notoriously thrifty Mike Ashley make it rain? He might yet come good but the signs aren’t encouraging.


18) Oliver Burke (RB Leipzig to West Brom) – £15m
The winger was once considered the future of Scottish football but aged 23, he is currently on his sixth club in his fourth different country. Since joining West Brom from Leipzig, Burke has been dispatched to Celtic on loan and currently plies his trade at Alaves, where he is rediscovering his enthusiasm for the game after a testing few years.


19) Sébastien Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt to West Ham) – £45m
The French striker was on fire in the Bundesliga last season alongside Luka Jovic, scoring 20 goals in all competitions. But with little to no help at West Ham, Haller has struggled after a promising start during which he scored four goals in his first seven matches. Only three have followed in the next 20 and though the suspicion remains the Hammers aren’t using a system that gets the best out of him, West Ham fans expect a bit more huff and puff as a minimum.


17) Andrii Yarmolenko (Borussia Dortmund to West Ham) – £18m
There was a time when most of Europe’s big hitters were watching the Ukraine winger but that period had passed by the time West Ham paid £17.5million for him. Injuries have played a major role in the 30-year-old’s failure to fully establish himself in the Premier League, with only five goals and two assists for the winger to show from a two-and-a-half-year spell in England.


16) Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund to Man Utd) – £21.8m
Alexis Sanchez has been good for one thing at Manchester United: getting Mkhitaryan off the books. The playmaker was seen by many as a misunderstood and mis-used talent under Jose Mourinho, but Mkhitaryan lacked the consistency to thrive in the Premier League, either at United or later at Arsenal.


15) Chicharito (Bayer Leverkusen to West Ham) £16m
The former Manchester United striker returned to the Premier League after catching fire at Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, scoring 39 goals in 76 appearances in Germany. But he wasn’t able to reproduce that form at West Ham, where he bagged 16 in 55 matches while struggling to establish himself in the Hammers XI.


14) Jannik Vestergaard (Borussia Monchengladbach to Southampton) – £18m
The Denmark defender has been an inconsistent presence in Southampton’s XI since joining the club in 2018 but Leicester had seen enough to offer £15million last month. Saints, though, weren’t willing to make a loss on the centre-back, even if he has made only one Premier League appearance since November 9.


13) Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea) – £52m
The USA winger arrived just as Eden Hazard was heading out of the door on his way to Real Madrid but rather than step straight into the Belgian’s boots, this season has been one of acclimatisation for Pulisic. Chelsea probably hoped for a more immediate impact given the investment they made and no goals or assists since November 9 for the currently crocked attacker is an underwhelming return.


12) Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach to Arsenal) – £35m
Arsenal fans seem to be warming to Xhaka after Mikel Arteta made clear his appreciation for the Switzerland midfielder. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that he still has much to prove at Arsenal other than the fact he can hit the ball really hard from really far out.


11) Naby Keïta (RB Leipzig to Liverpool) – £52m
Despite some fleeting moments, the midfielder’s Liverpool career has yet to take off, not that the Reds have struggled while Keita finds his feet amid an unlucky run of injuries. Not for a year has Keita managed to string five Premier League appearances together and only twice has he started during Liverpool’s procession to the title.


10) Sokratis (Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal) – £17.7m
Sokratis’ Arsenal career has been one of moments. The Greek defender clearly loves defending and the Gunners certainly need a centre-half willing to do what many perceive to be the dirty work at the back. But Sokratis has never quite been good enough to soothe a defence permanently intent on self-harm.


9) Leroy Sane (Schalke to Man City) – £37m
The Germany winger has thrilled and frustrated in almost equal measure. His form has been such that Bayern Munich want to bring him home while City are willing to counter with the offer of a new deal. But questions have been asked about Sane’s mentality and it will be fascinating to see how he recovers from a season on the sidelines, wherever he lays his hat.


8) Bernd Leno (Bayer Leverkusen to Arsenal) – £22.5m
No goalkeeper in the Premier League has made more errors that have led to goals since the start of last season but that’s not a concern for David Seaman. And who could blame any goalkeeper for the occasional jittery moment when he’s playing behind that defence?


7) Ilkay Gündogan (Borussia Dortmund to Man City) – £20m
Pep Guardiola loves the Germany midfielder, even if the stats suggest City are better without him. This season, with Gundogan, they have won 53% of their matches, a win rate which improves to 80% without him.


6) Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Bayern Munich to Southampton) – £12.8m
The Southampton captain has been good enough in three-and-a-half years at St Mary’s to catch the eyes of Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti last month, but it would have been madness for Saints to allow the midfielder to leave late in the window without having an adequate replacement lined up for their skipper. As it is, it seems like a new contract is on its way for Hojbjerg.


5) Caglar Söyüncü (Freiburg to Leicester) – £19m
It seemed Leicester had made a mistake in taking Soyuncu from Freiburg but Brendan Rodgers obviously saw something in the Turkey defender since he was willing to keep the £80million made form the sale of Harry Maguire in his back pocket. Since stepping into the England defender’s boots, Soyuncu has been one of the players of the season and one half of the Premier League’s best defensive partnership alongside Jonny Evans.


4) Heung-min Son (Bayer Leverkusen) – £22m
The absence of Harry Kane should be a disaster for Spurs given their lack of alternative centre-forwards, but Son has stepped up in the England striker’s absence this season and last. Two red cards may have seen his halo slip somewhat but 13 goals and nine assists mean he remains critical to Spurs’ hopes of regaining a top-four place.


3) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal) – £59m
Where would Arsenal have been without Aubameyang’s 57 goals in 92 appearances over the last two years? We’ll probably find out next season


2) Roberto Firmino (Hoffenheim to Liverpool) – £29m
Looked set to be on his way to Manchester United before he swerved Old Trafford and moved to Anfield instead. He’s been a bit good. Liverpool could triple their money and it still wouldn’t be enough.


1) Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg to Man City) – £55m
Liverpool might already be champions had De Bruyne not bounced back from an injury-hit season last year with the form of his life in City’s disappointing title defence. No player has provided more that the Belgian’s 15 assists or created more than the 88 chances he has laid on this term. Not only the finest buy from the Bundesliga; De Bruyne is one of the Premier League’s best ever imports.


Ian Watson

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