Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg)
To non-Bundesliga watchers, Finnbogason is just the centre-forward who pops up alongside the Viking clap at major international finals. However, for the best part of two seasons, the 29-year-old has been one of the most underrated strikers in Germany’s top division.
Strong, mobile and with a good goalscoring record behind him, Finnbogason would be a decent fit for Southampton or Newcastle, who both require a goalscorer. He speaks English, has lived in the UK and struck in several different leagues across Europe – so lots of boxes are already ticked.
Overall, he’s struck 22 in 49 Bundesliga games, after netting 59 in 70 across the border in Holland. With those stats, the Icelandic striker is a good choice to offer a quality upgrade on Charlie Austin and Shane Long.
Would suit: Southampton, Newcastle.
Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Other players stole the headlines for Eintracht Frankfurt last season, but few were as instrumental as Mexico international Salcedo. The 24-year-old centre-back adjusted impressively from Chivas in Liga MX to one of the most traditional clubs in German football.
Right-footed, fast and excellent in one-on-one situations, Salcedo featured in all four of Mexico’s World Cup games this summer. After signing midfielders Jack Wilshere, Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko, West Ham should look to upgrade their current defensive options following a torrid season at the London Stadium.
They also don’t come as pragmatic as new manager Manuel Pellegrini. The experienced boss should be able to identify players with classic South American traits who can bring some defensive resilience to the Hammers this season. Work permit permitting, Salcedo would be an interesting option for the London club.
Would suit: West Ham
Niclas Fullkrug (Hannover)
There are few Bundesliga players in such a rich vein of form as Hannover’s Fullkrug. The 25-year-old has come alive this season for the Reds, scoring 14 goals in 26 league starts. Across the top two German divisions, Fullkrug has struck 44 times in just over 150 games.
A traditional No.9 who offers plenty of mobility, the German comes alive inside the box. He’s quick, prolific and decisive in front of goal. The Bundesliga’s style has evolved to become a lot closer to that of the Premier League in recent years, so Fullkrug is well suited to a physical, end-to-end kind of game.
Given his current club, he would also be on the cheaper end of the spectrum for a Premier League side. If the stats and price add up, Fullkrug could be the next ‘Big Friendly German’ to make an impact across the Channel.
Would suit: Newcastle
Kevin Vogt (Hoffenheim)
With Maurizio Sarri taking the reins at Stamford Bridge, there’s going to be a serious turnaround in football philosophy at Chelsea. Sarri’s Napoli side didn’t quite hit the heights in terms of silverware but will go down as one of the best European sides of the last few seasons. The Italian will be hoping to bring that flavour of Naples to the Premier League.
Hoffenheim’s Kevin Vogt could be an instrumental player for the Blues. The 26-year-old has transformed himself under manager Julian Nagelsmann from a water-carrier midfielder in Augsburg to a talented, ball-playing central defender. Indeed, Vogt is perhaps the most impressive Bundesliga player at bringing the ball out of defence – so much so that Bayern Munich are reportedly interested in securing his services.
If Sarri wants his defenders to engage in build-up play, Vogt might be the man to splash more than £20m on this summer.
Would suit: Chelsea
Vladimir Darida (Hertha Berlin)
Crystal Palace are eyeing up midfield reinforcements this season and there’s a hyper-energetic player in Germany to suit: Darida. Since his switch from Viktoria Plzen, the central midfielder has found his feet quickly in Germany, amassing 131 league appearances across stints at Freiburg and Hertha Berlin.
Darida is often the midfielder covering every blade of grass to break up play; he’s not scared to go and get involved. The Czech Republic international brings experience at the highest level, alongside winning titles in his homeland. This in itself should be an added boost for Roy Hodgson’s team if they want to avoid the drop this season. Darida would likely cost under £10m, so would be an affordable replacement for Yohan Cabaye or Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Would suit: Crystal Palace
James Rodriguez (Bayern Munich, from Real Madrid)
Eyebrows were raised when James joined Bayern Munich on loan from Real Madrid last summer. Those doubts were thrown out of the window quite quickly as the Colombian showed what a consummate professional he is, though, turning the clock back to the kind of form he delivered at the 2014 World Cup.
Having only just turned 27, James still has time on his side. Where his future lies in another matter. He officially has another year of his loan deal at Bayern – but there's no guarantee he'll stay, with rumours suggesting the Munich club are looking at replacement options should he make a permanent move elsewhere.
Given his profile and performances at the highest level, he’s a perfect Manchester United player. The real question mark is around how the manager might perceive him; is James the right player for a Jose Mourinho project?
Time will tell. The two appear to be closely linked via their respective agencies. Given his success in Germany, James has enough pedigree to single-handedly restore Old Trafford to greatness next season, should United pull off an audacious move.
Would suit: Manchester United
Max Kruse (Werder Bremen)
Someone has to fill the Wayne Rooney-sized void at Goodison Park. Werder Bremen’s enigmatic forward Kruse has been long linked with a move to the Premier League as he continues to impress in the Bundesliga for less-equipped teams. Now 30, and with one year left in Bremen, this feels like the last chance of a major move for the German.
On the ball, there aren’t many like him. Kruse's left foot is masterful; he can see passes ahead of other players while perfectly executing the killer ball from deep. He can play as a conventional No.10 or lead from the front and create opportunities for other advanced players around him. Everton’s new director of football Marcel Brands will be well aware of Kruse’s quality, and the player has all the tools to succeed in the Premier League.
Would suit: Everton
Marco Fabian (Eintracht Frankfurt)
David Wagner’s first-ever Premier League campaign was memorable as Huddersfield retained their place in the top tier.
Consolidation is pivotal to the club’s fortunes, so extra quality is needed to turn defence into attack for the coming season. Eintracht Frankfurt’s Fabian could be the man to add some vital creativity to Huddersfield’s attack. The 28-year-old Mexico international, part of El Tri's 2018 World Cup squad, is apparently available for just €10m, having joined the Eagles for a mere €3m.
Last season was disrupted by injury and he struggled to make a telling impact, but the season before, Fabian scored seven goals in 24 games and set up another four. A work permit could potentially be a stumbling block, but given the fee, a transfer should pass the criteria. Fabian can bring experience, intelligence and new ideas to any side in the Premier League outside of the top six.
Would suit: Huddersfield
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