Summary

  • Embolo asks Schalke fans to avoid comparisons with Sane.
  • USMNT stars Boyd and Johannsson nearing returns to fitness.
  • Mayoral scores first goal for Wolfsburg.

Bundesliga Daily keeps you right up to date with all the important events concerning the 18 Bundesliga clubs. Here's the latest top-flight news from 12 August...

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'Sane will always remain Sane, Embolo will always remain Embolo'

New FC Schalke 04 signing Breel Embolo has asked Royal Blues fans to avoid comparisons with recently departed forward Leroy Sane this season.

Sane, who completed his protracted move to Manchester City FC last week, racked up eight goals and six assists in 33 league appearances for Die Knappen last term. Embolo netted 10 in 27 league outings for former club FC Basel, but insists Schalke supporters should not expect too much too soon.

"What Leroy showed here was top, but Sane will always remain Sane and Embolo will always remain Embolo," the Cameroon-born 19-year-old told Swiss magazine Sports Image. "I’m just focused on results on the pitch. I want to be successful and make people happy."

Leroy Sane's eight goals in 33 appearanes for the Royal Blues last term earned him a move to Manchester City FC.

US duo nearing return to match fitness

USNMT strikers Terrence Boyd and Aron Johannsson are closing in on a return to match fitness after lengthy spells on the sidelines.

A cruciate knee ligament injury has restricted Boyd, 25, to just seven league appearances in two seasons for RB Leipzig, but the Bremen-born frontman has featured in several of the top-flight newcomers’ pre-season friendlies this summer. The Bulls kick off their campaign at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on 28 August.

Johannsson, who joined SV Werder Bremen from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar last summer, missed the majority of last term with a troublesome hip injury. The 25-year-old made his first appearance of pre-season in Werder’s 2-0 victory over SV Meppen, coming on in the 62nd minute in place of Leon Guwara, and will be desperate to prove his fitness in time for the Green-Whites’ trip to FC Bayern München in the 2016/17 curtain-raiser.

Aron Johannsson was restricted to just six league appearances for Werder in 2015/16.

Kruse: 'I'm a team player'

Johannsson’s new team-mate Max Kruse is also looking to turn over a new leaf this season. The forward, who made his top-flight debut for Werder in September 2007, rejoined the club from VfL Wolfsburg earlier this month and is hoping to rediscover the form that earned him a move to the 2014/15 DFB Cup winners from Borussia Mönchengladbach just over twelve months ago.

"From day one there’s been a real sense of optimism in the camp," said the 28-year-old. "The whole club are behind me. I haven’t come to the club thinking that I can turn things around all by myself. I’m a team player and just as dependent on the rest of the squad as anyone of my team-mates.

"The atmosphere is great and that’s just what I need to play good football again. The most important thing though is to work hard on the pitch."

Max Kruse made his debut for Bremen in September 2007 - his only appearance for the Green-Whites to date.

Mayoral off the mark for Wolfsburg

Borja Mayoral scored his first goal in a Wolfsburg shirt on Thursday as Dieter Hecking’s side beat FC Flamurtari Vlore 5-1 in Bad Waltersdorf. The Real Madrid loanee netted five minutes after his half-time introduction, while fellow summer acquisition Daniel Didavi also netted a brace in against the Albanian first-division side. After the match, former VfB Stuttgart man Didavi shared his thoughts on the contest.

"It was a good run-out on a difficult pitch," he said. "We were up against an aggressive opponent, but still managed to win 5-1. We'll be up against trickier opponents this season, of course, but it was important for some of our players to be given some playing time ahead of our first competitive match."

Rudnevs eyes top-half finish with Köln

1. FC Köln are looking to establish themselves as a top-half team in the Bundesliga, according to summer signing Artjoms Rudnevs. The 28-year-old, who joined the Billy Goats from Hamburger SV in June, is looking forward to linking up with Anthony Modeste next season and believes Köln have enough fire power for a second successive top-nine finish.

"Tony’s 15 goals last season speak for themselves," said Rudnevs. "He was great last season, but we have other really good attacking players in Leo Bittencourt, Simon Zoller and Yuya Osako, while Marcel Risse and Konstantin Rausch can apply pressure from the wings. Our aim is to defend ninth place in the table this season."

Artjoms Rudnevs is confident Köln have enough firepower to finish in the top half of the Bundesliga for a second successive season.