Munich - The winter transfer market is perhaps even more volatile than its summer counterpart, with a narrower window of opportunity and often an added edge of urgency to proceedings.

Integrating new faces into a team at this stage of the campaign brings complications of its own, but injuries, lack of form and mere opportunity invariably keep the deals ticking over during the winter break.

Pick of the bunch


By no means all of them work out, of course, but on the other hand every now and then a club hits the jackpot - sometimes when it is perhaps least expected. bundesliga.com takes a look at some prime examples from recent years...

When Hannover 96 snapped up from Manchester United FC just in time for the 2011/12 season restart, club president Martin Kind said getting the Senegalese striker was “one of the best Bundesliga signings of the winter break.” Diouf wasted no time confirming that analysis, contributing six goals and three assists in his ten appearances over the second season-half.

He has since racked up 50 top-flight outings for the 96ers, hitting the net 23 times, a healthy average of almost a goal every other game. Hannover's top scorer for the period since his arrival, Diouf will be vital to their bid to stay free of the relegation quagmire over the coming months.

Still only 19 when he swapped FC Zürich for VfL Wolfsburg in January 2012, was given a first-XI slot at left-back for the league restart which he has not relinquished since.

The Switzerland international with a Spanish father and Chilean mother has been an ever-present this season for the upwardly-mobile Wolves and, in addition to his defensive attributes, has chipped in with three goals and the same number of assists. Rodriguez has carved out 60 scoring opportunities for the team all-told, further underlining his all-rounder credentials.

Since arriving back in the Ruhr district from Real Madrid FC by way of Liverpool FC on an extended loan deal this time last year, has slowly but surely rediscovered the form that made him such an integral figure in Borussia Dortmund's title-winning side under Jürgen Klopp in 2010/11.

The Turkey international, who came through the youth ranks at BVB, has featured in every league game so far this season, 15 of them from the start. Operating in his favoured deep-lying playmaker role, Sahin is once again the man at the heart of the Dortmund engine room, with the highest average number of ball contacts - 82 per game - in the team.

is living, goal-scoring proof that there are top-class young players to be had close to home and for a modest outlay. FC Augsburg signed the then-22-year-old attacking midfielder from third-tier side Kickers Offenbach a year ago and he has exceeded all expectations since.

Brought on board to add depth to the squad, Hahn went on to feature in all but two of Augsburg's 34 Bundesliga matches in 2013. This season he has added potency in front of goal to his all-round forward game and is currently the Bavarian Swabians' top scorer on six, helping them to an excellent eighth place in the table at the halfway point.

If was an unknown quantity to the vast majority of Bundesliga fans when he swapped Pandurii Targu Jiu for VfB Stuttgart in January 2013, that is certainly no longer the case 12 months down the line.

At the time, sporting director Fredi Bobic described the Romanian playmaker as “a different type of player to any we have at the moment,” and a good few top-flight defences can attest to that difference in the interim. Maxim played a pivotal part in seeing Stuttgart through to the DFB Cup final in his first half-season and the set-piece specialist is already on four goals and six assists for the current campaign.

Click here for Part One of our best winter transfers